8 Nov 2012

Unemployment rate remains steady in Australia

10:37 pm on 8 November 2012

The unemployment rate in Australia has remained steady at 5.4% in October due to the creation of 10,700 new jobs, offical figures show.

The Bureau of Statistics figures show 18,700 fulltime jobs were created in the month, with an 8000-strong decline in part-time positions.

However, the participation rate - which measures the proportion of the population aged over 15 who are in work or looking for work - eased slightly to 65.1%.

The figures surprised most economists, who had been expecting virtually no job creation and a rise in unemployment to 5.5%, the ABC reports.

However, unemployment in Western Australia rose sharply, from 4% to 4.6% in October.

The participation rate slipped in the month, suggesting people are dropping out of the workforce, while the number of hours also declined slightly.