Australia's unemployment rate has climbed to a post-global financial crisis high of 5.8 per cent, in line with economists' forecasts.

The figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the jobless rate edged up by 0.1 per cent in August.

Unemployment has been rising since November last year, and is now just 0.1 per cent below the peak seen during the depths of the global financial crisis four years ago.

The participation rate, which measures the number of people working or looking work, fell by 0.1 per cent to a near seven-year low of 65 per cent.

The jobless figures come as businesses and consumers show renewed optimism about the future of Australia's economy.

The Westpac-Melbourne Institute consumer confidence index, released yesterday, rose by 4.7 for September.

Tuesday's National Australia Bank business sentiment survey revealed businesses were confident that the change of government would improve trading conditions.

But they still showed a reluctance to take on new staff.

Meanwhile, the latest ANZ Bank survey of job advertisements revealed a fall of 1.1 per cent in July.

The result was 19 per cent lower than during the same month last year.


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