WA the focus in jobs jump The nation's jobless rate fell in January after an extra 46,000 people found work through the month - nearly half of them in WA. TAGS Beginner (532) / Intermediate (504) / Expert (531) The nation's jobless rate fell in January after an extra 46,000 people found work through the month - nearly half of them in WA.The Australian Bureau of Statistics reported today that full time worker numbers increased by 12,300 in the month while part time worker numbers jumped by 34,000.The numbers surprised the market which had been expecting a total increase of just 15,000 jobs.It pushed the unemployment rate down to 5.1 percent from 5.2 percent.In a promising development the participation rate - the number of people in work or looking for it - increased.In WA the jobless rate was steady at 4.2 percent but the total number of people in work lifted by 20,000 to a record 1.26 million.A big increase in the participation rate, which jumped by 0.9 percentage points to a 12-month high of 68.9 percent, stopped the jobless rate falling.Elsewhere, unemployment fell in South Australia (to 5.1 percent) and NSW (to 5.2 percent).It was steady in Queensland (5.4 percent), in the Northern Territory (4.2 percent), the ACT (3.7 percent) and Victoria (5.1 percent) while it increased in Tasmania to six percentMeanwhile, Reserve Bank deputy governor Philip Lowe used a speech in Sydney to talk up the prospects of the Australian economy.While admitting there were still serious headwinds out of Europe, he said the Reserve had plenty of scope to act if necessary."We can take some comfort from the fact that despite these powerful forces, the Australian economy started 2012 in relatively good shape," he said."Growth has been around trend and inflation is consistent with the target, and there are reasonable prospects for this to continue."We also have much more flexibility to deal with unfolding events than almost any other developed economy." Follow us on Twitter for more news, tips and inspiration. Like us on Facebook and Google+ explore our Pinterest boards. Like this article or found it helpful? Share it!