Australia's jobless rate increases slightly

9:59 PM, Jul 11, 2012   |    comments
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SYDNEY (AP) - Australia's unemployment rate hit 5.2 percent in June, up a tenth of a percentage point from the month before.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said Thursday that the number of unemployed people increased by 7,200 people to 631,300.

The number of people with jobs dropped 27,000 to 11.5 million. The decrease was largely driven by a drop in full-time employment. Part-time jobs increased by 6,600.

Most economists had expected Thursday's result, which follows several months of relatively strong employment figures. Australia's unemployment rate remains much lower than most wealthy countries. The U.S. jobless rate is 8.2 percent.

Australia's economy weathered the global economic crisis better than most nations thanks to a mining boom. But that boom also strengthened the Australian dollar, pressuring industries such as agriculture, tourism and manufacturing.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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