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July 17, 2019, 9:55 p.m. EDT

Australia posts weaker-than-expected job growth

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By James Glynn

SYDNEY--Australia's jobs growth was weaker than expected in June, leaving the unemployment rate well above levels desired by the country's central bank.

Australia's unemployment rate was unchanged at a seasonally adjusted 5.2% in June, matching expectations of economists.

The number of people employed rose by 500, compared with an expected 9,000 increase, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said Thursday. The number of people in full-time work rose by 21,100 in June, while those in part-time work fell by 20,600. The drop in part-time work may reflect the conclusion of election campaigning in May.

The bureau said its seasonally adjusted workforce participation rate was unchanged at 66.0%, albeit that was slightly better than economists had expected.

Markets don't expect the June data to influence the Reserve Bank of Australia's thinking around rate cuts much because officials will want more evidence about the impact of two interest-rate cuts in as many months. That easing began at the RBA's June meeting, and there has also been other potential boosts to the economy via tax cuts since June began.

The RBA has said it wants the unemployment rate to fall to 4.5% or lower in order to spur wages growth and inflation.

-Write to James Glynn at james.glynn@wsj.com

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