The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics, rose from 5.3 per cent in November last year to 5.9 per cent in December.
That places South Australia’s unemployment rate at level third with Tasmania also at 5.9 per cent.
Meanwhile, SA’s participation rate – the proportion of the adult population either in work or looking for work – increased by 0.4 per cent to 62.7 per cent.
The (more stable) trend unemployment rate was unchanged from the previous month, remaining at 5.8 per cent.
Overall, Australia’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate fell slightly to 5.0 per cent.
But the number of people in full-time work has dropped.
Part-time employment drove a 21,600 increase in the number of people with jobs during the month – better than market expectations of 18,000 extra jobs – but today’s data showed a 3000 drop in the number of people employed full-time.
This follows a 6400 drop in full-time employment nationally during November.
NAB analyst Kaixin Owyong said December’s figures were a positive sign for the Reserve Bank in an environment of building concerns around consumer sentiment and spending.
“The unemployment rate is back around the level associated with full employment,” she said.
“At this point, it looks like the RBA’s latest forecast is on track, although clearly progress remains gradual.”
The Australian dollar was trading slightly higher after the release of the data, buying 71.62 US cents at 11:27am Adelaide time.
In December, there were 12.7 million Australians in work, 8.68 million full-time and 4.04 million part-time.
The nation’s participation rate decreased by less than 0.1 points to 65.6 per cent, while monthly hours worked in all jobs increased 1.3 million hours to 1758.9 million hours.
In seasonally adjusted terms, the largest increase in employment was in Queensland, up 11,600 persons, followed by Victoria, up 10,500 persons and New South Wales, up 3,800 persons.
The largest decrease in employment was in Western Australia, down 15,300 persons.
– with AAP
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