Australia's unemployment rate unexpectedly rose in July to 5.1 percent, data showed Thursday, hitting its highest level since November last year as the economy shed 22,000 full-time jobs.
The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) said the jobless rate increased 0.1 percentage points from a revised 5.0 percent in June, worse than the 4.9 percent expected by the market.
There was a net loss of 100 jobs, with part-time work created falling short of the 22,200 full-time positions lost, the ABS said.
"The number of people unemployed increased by 18,000 people to 611,600 in July," the ABS said.
The Australian dollar slumped to US$1.0139 immediately after the data, from $1.0211 shortly before.
Canberra has forecast unemployment to fall to 4.5 percent by mid-2013.