By Vera Sprothen

SYDNEY--Australia's unemployment rate was unchanged at 5.6% in October.

Economists had expected an unemployment rate of 5.7% in October.

The number of people employed rose by 9,800, driven by an increase in fulltime jobs, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Thursday.

Economists had expected overall employment to rise by 18,000 positions.

The number of people in full-time work rose by 41,500 in October, partially reversing recent declines. Those in part-time work decreased by 31,700.

The bureau said its seasonally adjusted workforce participation rate, or the proportion of working-age people at work or actively seeking work, was steady at 64.4% in October. The ABS revised down itspreviously reported figure for September from 64.5%.

Australia's economy is adjusting to a sharp decline in mining-investment at the end of a long resources boom. Rising unemployment in the mining-rich regions of the country has been offset by growing job opportunities in the services-focused states along the east coast.

The unemployment rate was lowest in eastern New South Wales state at 4.9% and highest in resource-rich Western Australia where it rose to 6.5% from 6.1% in the previous month.

The central bank has stepped up concerns in recent weeks that the labor market may look healthier than it is. The rate of underemployment remains high, meaning many people would like to work more if they could. Many recently created jobs have been part-time positions.

Wages are also rising at the slowest pace on record, the statistics bureau said earlier this week.

Some economists say the underlying weakness in the job market might yet seethe Reserve Bank of Australia lower interest rates further.

-Write to Vera Sprothen at

(END) Dow Jones Newswires

November 16, 2016 19:56 ET (00:56 GMT)

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