Australia employment falls 138,000 in Sept amid lockdowns By Reuters

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© Reuters. Customers at a local cafe are seen through a window displaying a job vacancy notice in central Sydney, Australia, May 9, 2016. Picture taken May 9, 2016. REUTERS/Steven Saphore/Files

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian employment fell sharply for a second month in September as coronavirus lockdowns forced businesses to lay off workers and slash hours, while the jobless rate was held down by another drop in the number of people looking for work.

Thursday’s data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed employment fell by 138,000 in September, compared to median forecasts of a drop of 137,500.

The unemployment rate edged up to 4.6%, from 4.5%, when analysts had expected a rise to 4.8%. The rate has been badly distorted by lockdowns which prevent people looking for work and being counted as unemployed.

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