Economists expect little improvement in the jobs market in the months ahead, after the unemployment rate hit six per cent for the first time in over 10 years.
Australia's jobless rate for January rose from 5.8 per cent in December, according to seasonally adjusted figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
"The unemployment rate should continue to edge higher over the next six months or so and this expectation fits in with the Reserve Bank of Australia's outlook for the jobs market," St George chief economist Besa Deda said.
"The slowdown in mining investment is making its presence felt among the resource states, with the soft labour market present in Western Australia and Queensland likely to persist."
RBC currency strategist Michael Turner said ongoing deterioration in the labour market was to be expected.
But the jobs figures would not cause the RBA board to regret their recent decision to signal a period of stable interest rates.
"People have been expecting a little bit more of a bounce back from December's employment growth numbers but that wasn't to be," he said.
Mr Turner expects the unemployment rate to drift a little higher in the first half of 2014 before moderating in the fourth quarter and into 2015.
"Given the slow pace of employment growth it's hard to see it getting back below six per cent on a sustained basis for most of this year," he said.
"The leading economic indicators have indeed improved gives some hope that the peak in the unemployment rate is not too far away."
Ms Deda also said leading indicators of employment, such as job ads, have been stabilising over recent months.
"Employment gauges are a lagging indicator of the economy and so the improvement witnessed in the economy over the past months would not yet show up in the labour numbers," she said.
The growth in part-time employment at the expense of full-time employment could be explained by employers not wishing to lay off employees because of an anticipation that economic activity will improve, Ms Deda said.
"There was a lift in average hours worked in January, but for now firms are still not willing to take on the risk of lifting their headcount," she said.
The total number of people with jobs fell 3,700 in January, and was down 23,000 in December.
Full-time employment fell 7,100 in January and part-time employment was up 3,400