The Illawarra's unemployment rate climbed slightly higher in June amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, new figures show.
There were 13,200 people unemployed in the Illawarra in June, up by 700 people from the previous month, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics' raw unadjusted data issued on Thursday.
The number of unemployed people in the region has risen by 4300 since March.
Despite the reopening of the hospitality and tourism sectors, the unemployment rate in the Illawarra now sits at eight per cent.
This compares to the NSW statewide figure of 6.7 per cent.
The Illawarra's June unemployment rate is up from 7.8 per cent in May, and 5.6 per cent in March.
This figure was at 6.5 per cent in June last year.
While male unemployment within the region falls close to the state average, more Illawarra females are unemployed compared to the NSW average.
ABS figures for the Illawarra for June 2020 show figures of 6.1 per cent for males, 10.1 per cent for females; while in NSW for June 2020 it was males 6.7 per cent, and females also at 6.7 per cent.
The number of people unemployed within the region could climb further as JobKeeper payments fall, people return to the labour market and "zombie" businesses crumble.
The labour force participation rate, the proportion of adults either working or looking for work, went up slightly in June.
The Illawarra participation rate is now 63.5 per cent, up from 61.6 per cent the previous month, and its highest mark since June 2019.
Meanwhile, Newcastle's unemployment rate climbed higher in June as Hunter job losses burst through the 40,000 mark since the coronavirus pandemic began.
The ABS figures issued on Thursday show another 2700 people in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie lost employment last month.
A staggering 27,500 people have lost work in the city since February.
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