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Aust jobless rate 5.4% in Dec

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Australia's unemployment rate rose to 5.4 per cent in December from 5.3 per cent in November, official figures show.

Total employment fell 5,500 to 11.539 million in the month, according to the seasonally adjusted figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday.

The forecast was for total employment to be flat in December with the unemployment rate at 5.4 per cent, according to the median of 14 market economists surveyed by AAP.

Full-time employment fell by 13,800 to 8.112 million in December and part-time employment was up 8,300 to 3.426 million.

The December participation rate was 65.1 per cent, unchanged from November.

The December participation rate was forecast to be 65.1 per cent.