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Jobless rate tipped to rise


Australia's unemployment rate is expected to have risen in April, and economists warn a tough budget could see further deterioration in the jobs market.

Jobs data to be released on Thursday is expected to show the unemployment rate rose to 5.9 per cent in April, from 5.8 per cent in March, according to an AAP survey of 15 economists.

Most economists think the jobless rate will get worse before it gets better, as the economy struggles with the high Australian dollar and tries to adjust to the wind-down in mining investment.

Commonwealth Bank chief economist Michael Blythe said a tough budget could have a detrimental impact on hiring.

"It's certainly something that will impact on sentiment, if nothing else, and that sometimes encourages businesses to become a bit more cautious in labour hiring and, of course, there's a risk that public sector employment takes a hit," he said.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics releases labour force data on Thursday.