(Photo: REUTERS / Robert Galbraith/Files)
A man looks over employment opportunities at a jobs center in San Francisco, California, in this February 4, 2010 file photo.
The number of unemployed Australians has contradicted surprise previous gains as the latest figures showed the March jobless rate figure jumped to 5.6 per cent. It was the country's highest in 3½ years.
A total of 36,100 positions were lost in March, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday. This translated to a total of 11.593 million Australians without jobs.
Immediately, the Australian dollar fell in response to the latest employment figures, plunging to 105.07 US cents shortly after the data was released at 11.30am AEST, from an earlier 105.36 US cents.
Full-time job positions dropped by 7400 while part-time employment fell by 28,700, statistics provided by the ABS showed.
Although the figures were depressing, Michael Blythe, Commonwealth Bank chief economist, said much has yet to be said since the latest figures followed a relatively positive and strong post in February when the nation added 74,000 jobs.
On the average, the nation's jobs growth was somewhere about 17,000 in the past three months. "A pretty decent result," he said.
"So it tells you the economy is still generating more jobs that it is losing."
"Overall, the labour market still seems in pretty good shape and certainly in fantastic shape compared with what many other countries are experiencing," Mr Blythe said.
"With signs of the broader economy picking up, you expect limited damage to the labour market."
At a state level, Victoria and Queensland gave off the largest decreases in employment, at 9,300 and 7,400 jobs respectively in March.
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