National unemployment rate drops to 5.4%

THE number of Australians with a job fell by 5500 in December, pulling the national unemployment down 0.1% to 5.4%, figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed on Thursday.

Of those who were without a job in December, the majority - or 13,800 - were former staffers who had lost full-time work.

These figures were partly offset by a rise of 8300 in part-time employment.

The number of people unemployed rose by a total of 16,600 in December, while the workforce participation rate was steady at 65.1% of the nation's population.

Australians also worked less overtime in December last year, down 1.1 million hours from the previous month.



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