Australia's unemployment rate came in surprisingly lower at 5.4 percent in April, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday, defying expectations for a 5.9 percent rate following the five-year high 5.7 percent in March.

Similarly, the employment change showed an increase of 27,300 when analysts had been expecting a decline of 25,000 jobs after shedding 34,700 in the previous month. Full-time employment was up 49,100 in April to 7.67 million, the data showed, while part-time employment decreased by 21,800 to 3.126 million.

Unemployment decreased by 35,300 to 614,600. The number of persons looking for full-time work was down 17,800 to 443,500 and the number of persons looking for part-time work eased 17,400 to 171,100.

The male unemployment rate decreased by 0.2 percentage points to 5.5 percent, while the female unemployment rate decreased by 0.4 percentage points to 5.3 percent.

The participation rate came in exactly as forecast at 65.4 percent, easing slightly from 65.5 percent a month earlier.

Also on Thursday, AiG's Performance of Construction Index came in with a score of 36.5 for April, up from the revised score of 30.3 in March. The original reading was 30.4.

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