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Australia’s Economy Continued Shedding Jobs on Lockdowns in September

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By James Glynn

SYDNEY–Lockdowns across Australia’s two biggest states helped drive the loss of 138,000 jobs in September, pushing the number of hours worked across the economy back down below pre-pandemic levels.

With a combined share of close to 60% of Australia’s employed population, labor-market changes in New South Wales and Victoria continued to have a large influence on national figures, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Thursday.

Employment in Victoria fell by 123,000, while New South Wales shed 25,000 jobs. Still, there were some offsets, with Queensland adding 31,000 jobs, the ABS said.

Lockdowns began midyear and were extended throughout the third quarter.

The unemployment rate rose to 4.6% in September from 4.5% in August, with the extent of the rise limited by a fall in the number of people actively seeking a job, the ABS said.

The participation rate fell 0.7 percentage point to 64.5%. This was the third…

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