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Australia unemployment rate stable at 6.0% despite rise in full-time jobs

SYDNEY--Australia's unemployment rate was steady at its decade-high level of 6.0 percent for the second straight month in February, despite a surprising rise in full-time positions, data showed Thursday.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics said while there was strong growth in full-time jobs — an unexpected development given the unwinding of the mining boom — this was offset by a fall in the number of part-time positions.

“Full-time employment increased 80,500 to 8,049,900 and part-time employment decreased 33,300 to 3,480,900,” the bureau said.

The statistics follow announcements of thousands of job losses in Australia's automobile and aviation sectors, many of which have yet to filter through, including 5,000 positions in national carrier Qantas to be axed by 2017.

The Australian dollar rose on the data, climbing to 90.70 U.S. cents from 89.53 U.S. cents late Wednesday.

Unemployment in Australia is now at its highest point since the global financial crisis, when it peaked at 5.8 percent, and its worst level since July 2003.

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