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Queensland jobless rate heads back above 5 per cent

The number of unemployed Queenslanders jumped by 8000 in October as the seasonally adjusted rate jumped back above 5 per cent from September’s low of 4.9 per cent.

Nov 11, 2021, updated Nov 11, 2021
Community and welfare groups such as Anglicare have long been calling for a substantial boost to JobSeeker and Youth Allowance to lift people out of poverty, as has a government advisory committee. (Photo: AAP Image/Joel Carrett)

Community and welfare groups such as Anglicare have long been calling for a substantial boost to JobSeeker and Youth Allowance to lift people out of poverty, as has a government advisory committee. (Photo: AAP Image/Joel Carrett)

Nationally the unemployment rate increased to 5.2 per cent and Queensland rose to 5.1 per cent.

The data was a disappointment for many economists and added fuel to arguments that an interest rate rise was still a long way off. It was also a setback for the RBA forecasts of an unemployment rate of 4.75 per cent by the end of the year.

The ANZ Bank said it was unconcerned by the result and expected a better figures in the next few months.

The number of people employed Australia-wide fell by 46,000 people in October and participation increased 0.1 percentage points.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis the October data was affected by school holidays and some early changes to restrictions associated with the Delta lockdowns, particularly in New South Wales, ahead of larger changes from mid-October.

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“As we’ve seen throughout the pandemic, the changes in the labour markets with lockdowns continued to have a large influence on the national figures,” Mr Jarvis said.

The increase in the participation rate meant there was a large increase in unemployment of 82,000 people.

“The increases in unemployment show that people were preparing to get back to work, and increasingly available and actively looking for work – particularly in New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory,’’ Jarvis said.

“This follows what we have seen towards the end of other major lockdowns, including the one in Victoria late last year,” Mr Jarvis said.

“It may seem counterintuitive for unemployment to rise as conditions are about to improve. However, this shows how unusual lockdowns are, compared with other economic shocks, in how they limit being able to work and look for work.”

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