800,000 Australians Unemployed
10 August 2015 at 11:21 am
For the first time in 20 years there are more than 800,000 unemployed people in Australia, with five people looking for work for every vacancy available.
The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that unemployment rose to 6.3 per cent last month.
Shadow Minister for Employment, Brendan O’Connor, directed the blame for the worsening unemployment situation squarely at the Abbott Government.
“The figures also show a disturbing 0.4 per cent spike in youth unemployment, with 13.8 per cent of 15 to 24 year olds unable find work,” O’Connor said.
“Nearly 300,000 young Australians are currently unemployed.
“Western Australia saw a huge jump in jobless, and now has a higher unemployment rate than the national average at 6.4 per cent.
“At the last election Tony Abbott promised Australians he’d create one million new jobs in five years.
“Australia needs a plan for the jobs of the future but it’s clear that Tony Abbott is stuck in the past.”
But Minister for Employment, Senator Eric Abetz, said there were positives to be found in the figures, with seasonally adjusted employment growing by 38,500 in July.
Senator Abetz said while the unemployment rate of 6.3 per cent was disappointing, it reflected a sharp increase in the participation rate to 65.1 per cent in July — the highest level since mid-2013.
Senator Abetz said the female participation rate now sits at 59.2 per cent — the highest since the ABS Labour Force records began in 1978, which he said showed more Australians were feeling confident and being encouraged to enter the jobs market.
“The strengthening employment growth figures are encouraging but the Government is pushing on to create more job opportunities for our fellow Australians,” Senator Abetz said.
He said the Government had formulated an economic plan designed to deliver stronger jobs growth by investing $5.5 billion in the new Growing Jobs and Small Business package, delivering $3.25 billion in tax cuts for small business and $1.75 billion in accelerated depreciation measures, investing $6.8 billion in jobactive, the new employment services system and negotiating Free Trade Agreements which will attract growth.
“Every day we’re getting on with the job, whether it’s an unprecedented ship building industry, infrastructure upgrades, or cutting taxes,” he said.
But Brendan O’Connor accused the Government’s jobs plan of not stacking up.
“The only plan Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey’s Liberals have is to bring back WorkChoices, slashing penalty rates for hardworking Australians,” he said.
“40,000 Australians joined the jobless queue in July, while Tony Abbott fought to save his beleaguered Speaker’s job.”