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Australia employment falls unexpectedly for second month

Jobless rate jumps to 8-month high of 3.7% in January

Syndey Opera House near the waterfront in 2021. Workers in Australia took more annual leave than usual in January.   © Reuters

SYDNEY (Reuters) -- Australia employment surprised in January by falling for a second straight month while the jobless rate jumped to its highest since last May, a soft result that could lessen pressure for further aggressive interest rate hikes.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday showed net employment fell 11,500 in January from December, when they dropped a revised 19,900. Market forecasts had been for a rise of 20,000 in January.

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