Jobless rate drops to defy predictions

Australia's unemployment rate in August fell to 6.8 per cent from 7.5 per cent in July.
Australia's unemployment rate in August fell to 6.8 per cent from 7.5 per cent in July.

LABOUR FORCE DATA FOR AUGUST:

* Unemployment rate - fell to 6.8 per cent from 7.5 per cent in July

* Underemployment rate (employed people seeking additional work) - unchanged at 11.2 per cent

* Employment - rose by 111,000 positions

* Full-time - rose by 36,200 positions

* Part-time - rose by 74,800 positions

* Participation rate (people working or looking for work) - rose to 64.8 from 64.7 in July.

STATE UNEMPLOYMENT RATES

NSW - 6.7 per cent in vs 7.2 per cent in July

Vic - 7.1 per cent vs 6.8 per cent

Qld - 7.5 per cent vs 8.8 per cent

SA - unchanged at 7.9 per cent

WA - 7.0 per cent vs 8.3 per cent

Tas - 6.3 per cent vs 6.0 per cent

NT - 4.2 per cent vs 7.5 per cent

ACT - 4.6 per cent vs 4.2 per cent

(Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics)

Australian Associated Press