Australian unemployment rate hits 19-year high, outlook remains dim

Australian unemployment rate hits 19-year high, outlook remains dim

May had seen Australia’s unemployment rate soaring to its highest in about two decades. This followed after nearly a quarter of a million people lost their jobs due to the pandemic-driven restrictions which halted business activities.

Employment in May sank lower with 227,700 jobs. This came worse than the record slump of about 600,000 in April, data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed on Thursday.

The country’s unemployment rate advanced to 7.1%, its highest reading since October 2001. This surpassed its previous reading of 6.4% in April as it came parallel with analysts’ outlook in a Reuters survey.

The weak figures underscored the economic damage brought by the virus crisis as mobility restrictions halted business operations since late March.

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