National

SA jobless rate spikes in August

By AAP Newswire

A big increase in the number of people looking for work is behind a spike in South Australia's unemployment rate, but the state government says the August figures are still disappointing.

SA' s jobless rate jumped to 7.3 per cent last month, up from 6.9 per cent in July, making it the highest in the country and two percentage points above the national rate of 5.3 per cent.

"The state government understands the frustration of people looking for work and is committed to further increasing the number of jobs our economy is creating," Treasurer Rob Lucas said.

"Whilst the number of jobs in South Australia grew during August, the increase was not fast enough to match the growing number of people looking for work.

"Put simply, what happened last month was that while an extra 5,300 people joined the workforce looking for jobs, 1400 of those found employment, meaning 3,900 were without work."

The treasurer said there had been a steady increase in the participation rate in recent months, with the August figures at near-record levels.

But the Labor opposition said the Liberal government had failed South Australians.

"(Premier) Steven Marshall promised more jobs, instead he's delivered the highest unemployment rate in Australia," opposition treasury spokesman Stephen Mullighan said.