Australian unemployment in surprise pre-election jump

13 08 2010

Australia’s unemployment rate rose to 5.3% in July, according to official figures released just ahead of the country’s national elections.

About 24,600 more people were out of work, raising the rate from June’s 5.1%. Analysts had predicted no change.

The country’s Labor government has played on its economic record which saw Australia avoid recession – largely thanks to demand for commodities.

Some observers say the data will hurt the government in the 21 August vote.

However, experts said the unexpected rise may be partly explained by revised population figures which showed there were more people in the potential workforce than previously thought.

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