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SA hands worst unemployment title to WA

AAP logoAAP 17/11/2016

South Australia is no longer the nation's jobs basket case, with the state's unemployment rate falling in October as Western Australia's surged.

SA's jobless rate fell to 6.4 per cent last month from 6.7 per cent in September, while in WA it rose to a nation-high 6.5 per cent.

ABS figures released on Tuesday showed 9800 more South Australians were in full-time work in October compared with the same period last year, while 7600 fewer people were unemployed.

Employment Minister Kyam Maher said the results show the state's jobs fortunes were starting to turn despite the looming closure of Holden's manufacturing plant at the end of 2017.

He said 1.7 million more hours were worked in October in the state than a year ago, the second-highest growth rate in the country.

Before Tuesday's figures, SA had been the state with the highest jobless rate since mid-2015.

From a peak of 8.2 per cent in June last year, the jobless rate has fallen for 15 consecutive months.

But opposition employment spokesman Corey Wingard said new full-time jobs remained as "rare as hens' teeth".

"Coming off a very low base, it's good to see any improvement in unemployment, no matter how small," Mr Wingard said.

"What is concerning is that the month on month full-time jobs have declined despite the Labor government's expensive cash for full-time jobs policy."

Nationally, the jobless rate remained steady at 5.6 per cent in October.

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