Qld unemployment rate 7.3%

4BC Drive: Australia's unemployment rate has risen to 5.4 per cent as the economy battles against slowing global growth with an additional 16,600 people joining the ranks of the jobless.

A sharp fall in the number of full-time employed in December was offset by a rise in part time employment as Australian companies scaled back their expansion plans.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics data revealed the nation's unemployment rate rose to 5.4 per cent in December from 5.3 per cent in November.

Total employment fell 5,500 to 11.539 million in the month while the number of jobless rose to 656,500 with the participation rate steady at 65.1 per cent.

Tasmania and Queensland continue to have the highest levels of unemployment at 7.3 per cent and 6.2 per cent seasonally adjusted.

Michael Workman, a senior economist with the Commonwealth Bank has told Gary Hadgrave why Queensland  is in such a bad way.