Australia Jobless Rate Falls Amid National Election Hiring Boost

Australia’s jobless rate dropped in July as part-time jobs surged amid a national election and census count. The currency gained.

  • Unemployment dropped to 5.7% from 5.8%; economists predicted 5.8%
  • Employment rose 26,200 from June; economists forecast 10,000 gain
  • Full-time jobs fell by 45,400; part-time employment jumped by 71,600
  • Participation rate, a measure of labor force as a share of the population, held at 64.9%, matching economist estimates

The economy is showing resilience against a difficult global backdrop, with industries like construction, tourism and education helping Australia soak up unemployed miners as a resource boom winds down. Still, a rebounding local dollar — up almost 12 percent since mid-January — risks the competitiveness of currency-sensitive service industries while China’s economic transition remains another source of nervousness.