The lift in Australia’s unemployment rate to 6.3% in July was driven by more women looking for work, CommSec Economist Savanth Sebastian said in a note.
The participation rate for women rose from 58.8 to 59.2 in July – a 6½ year high since February 2009.
“The real driver of the lift in unemployment was more people looking for work – not entirely a negative outcome. The participation rate lifted to 2½-year high,” he said.
“Interestingly the participation rate for women surged to a 6½-year high – in effect more women were looking to come back into the workforce. No doubt a healthier economy, improved job prospects, and more importantly a noted lift in job advertisement over the past year has resulted in more people searching for work – a result that should increase household incomes.”
This morning’s ABS jobs data showed employment rose by 38,500 in July. The unemployment rate also jumped from a revised 6.1% in June to 6.3% in July.