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Published on November 9th, 2012 | by john.weir

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Better news for Australian jobs

The Australian economy added more than 10,000 new jobs in October, helping keep the jobless rate steady and beating analysts expectations.

New data on job figures showed that unemployment remained at 5.4 per cent, the same level it reached in September, as the jobs market bucked forecasts of a further rise in the unemployment rate.

The economy added 18,700 jobs full-time for the month, well ahead of expectations, but lost 8000 part time jobs, with a net gain of 10,700 jobs. But the participation rate – the share of the population in work or looking for it – also fell as job seekers gave up looking for work, helping to cap any rise in the official jobless rate. It’s the second month in a row that more jobs were created than expected.

In a potential sign that the slowdown in the mining sector is costing jobs, Western Australia’s unemployment rate rose from 4 per cent to 4.6 per cent, its highest level since July 2010.

This follows redundancies at iron ore miners including BHP Billiton and Fortescue Metals Group, which are being hit by weaker Chinese demand.

However, WA still has the lowest unemployment rate in the country behind the Australian Capital Territory and the Northern Territory. Victoria’s unemployment rate fell slightly to 5.4 per cent, while the NSW jobless was unchanged at 5.2 per cent. Queensland’s jobless rate eased to 6.3 per cent from 6.3 per cent, while South Australia was steady at 5.6 per cent.

And there was good news in Tassie – Tasmania posted the largest fall in unemployment, down to 6.7 per cent from 7.3 per cent.

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