Jobless rate reaches 12-year high

ANOTHER 12,200 Australians lost their jobs last month, bringing the nation's unemployed rate to a 12-year high of 6.4%, new figures show.

The latest ABS jobs data showed the unemployment rate jumped 0.3% in January, from 6.1% in December.

That rise equated to an extra 12,200 jobs lost in the first month of the year.

The losses had been driven by 28,100 full-time jobs going during the month.

That result was partly offset by 15,900 more part-timers joining the workforce.

However, the participation rate - the proportion of people in work or looking for work - held steady at about 64.8%.

The ABS jobs data showed there had been a 0.5% rise in the number of hours Australians had worked.



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