Australia June unemployment jumps to highest since late 1990s

Credit: REUTERS/STRINGER

SYDNEY, July 16 (Reuters) - Australia's unemployment rate jumped to a level last seen in the late 1990s, even though jobs grew by far more than expected as more people went looking for work, official data for June on Thursday showed.

The unemployment rate shot up to 7.4% in June, from 7.1% in May and marking the highest since November 1998, according to figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). The participation rate increased by 1.3 percentage points to 64%.

The jump in the jobless rate came even as employment surged by 210,800 in June following hefty falls in April and May. Economists polled by Reuters had expected an increase of about 112,000 jobs.

(Reporting by Swati Pandey; Editing by Tom Hogue)

((swati.pandey@thomsonreuters.com; +61 2 9321 8166; Reuters Messaging: twitter.com/swatisays))

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