The number of jobs in the economy has fallen for a second consecutive month amid signs that consumer spending is slowing, adding to evidence that the economy is losing momentum following nine interest rate hikes.
The unemployment rate rose 0.2 of a percentage point to 3.7 per cent in January as the economy shed 11,500 jobs, with the loss of 43,000 full-time jobs eclipsing a gain of 32,000 part-time positions.
HSBC Australia chief economist Paul Bloxham has told reporters – the employment figures were much weaker than had been expected and suggested that the labour market was starting to loosen.
Mr Bloxham said that a rising unemployment rate would typically be considered a bad development
Employment in Canberra decreased by 14,600 persons (0.1 per cent) and the employment to population ratio decrease by 0.2 of a percentage point (Treasury figures)