Queensland’s jobless rate has touched 6.3 per cent for only the second time since late 2003.

Queensland’s jobless rate has hit a 10-month high.

In April, the state’s unemployment level rose by 0.2 percentage points to 6.3 per cent, marking the second time since October 2003 it had touched that level.

The news came as privatised freight rail operator Aurizon flagged the retrenchment of up to 480 heavy maintenance positions, affecting workers in Townsville and Redbank, southwest of Brisbane.

Queensland’s official jobless rate is well above the national average of 5.8 per cent and was one of only two states to experience an unemployment increase.

But 4400 jobs were still created during April.

State Treasurer Tim Nicholls pointed to Queensland’s 66.5 per cent participation rate, which is well above the national average of 64.7 per cent, and strong jobs growth during the past year.

His Labor counterpart Curtis Pitt highlighted how Queensland had the second highest jobless rate in mainland Australia after Victoria.