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"Worrying": Full-time jobs slump

"Worrying": Full-time jobs slump

More Australians have a job, but they're working fewer hours and wages growth is slowing, an economist warns.

The unemployment rate fell to 5.7 per cent January, from 5.8 per cent in December, according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The number of jobs rose by 13,500 in the month, but that was entirely due to growth in part time work, with full-time employment falling by 44,800 jobs.

In the year to January, the number of full-time jobs fell by 56,100, while the number of part-time jobs rose by 159,400.

Capital Economics chief economist Paul Dales said a "worrying theme" of disappearing full-time work being replaced by part-time work has continued into 2017.

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"The number of people working full-time is no higher now than it was in August 2015," he said.

"This is weighing on incomes as lots of people are working fewer hours and the excess supply of labour is keeping wage growth low."

CommSec chief economist Craig James was more upbeat about the job market and its potential to grow, saying job advertisements are at five-year highs and the latest National Australia Bank business survey suggested job growth is set to accelerate.

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"As is always the case, there has been some volatility with full-time jobs down sharply in the month and part-time jobs sharply higher," Mr James said.

"But full-time job creation in the December quarter was the strongest in six years. So it was not unexpected that there would be some pull-back in full-time positions."