According to a report released Thursday from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the country’s jobless rate reached 4.1% in January, the highest level seen since early 2022.

This statistic represents a small increase from December’s reported 3.9% and is slightly over the consensus projection of 4%. According to the figures, the economy created 11,100 full-time jobs and eliminated 10,600 part-time positions in the previous month.

In light of the nation’s economy slowing down and declining consumer demand, the study raised more concerns about the lack of demand in the labor market. Economists caution that later in the year, unemployment may become even worse.

ABS chief executive officer Bjorn Jarvis commented on the findings, pointing out that the labor market’s seasonal dynamics are shifting with respect to when people return to work in January following summer vacation. According to Jarvis, although the number of jobless individuals increased in January, there was also a rise in those who were anticipating employment over the following four weeks.

At a news conference on Thursday, Treasurer Jim Chalmers stated that the most recent data shows that the job market is still softening in the anticipated manner. He said, “This is also the inevitable consequence of higher interest rates and persistent inflation and global economic uncertainty, because of the pressures that people are under, the pressures our economy is under, and indeed the global economy as well – those are largely the reasons for the tick up in the unemployment rate that we are seeing today,”

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