Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Brendan O’Connor was in Newcastle today and has welcomed the National Labour Force figures for August released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), but said at 6.1 per cent the figure is still too high.
“While it is encouraging to see the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decrease, an unemployment rate with a six in front of shows there are still too many people without jobs,” Mr O’Connor said.
“What is of concern about these figures is that the trend data on unemployment is increasing.
“The trend unemployment rate has increased 0.1 per cent from 6.1 per cent to 6.2 per cent, showing that the Government can’t afford to be complacent when it comes to jobs.
“What is also concerning about these figures is that underemployment is going up.
“The seasonally adjusted underemployment rate has increased 0.7 per cent from May this year to 8.5 per cent.”
Federal Member for Newcastle Sharon Claydon hopes the national seasonally adjusted decrease in unemployment will also have an impact on local figures.
“Newcastle and Lake Macquarie’s unemployment rate is well above the national rate so I do hope that any decrease is reflected in local data when its available later this month,” Ms Claydon said.
“Worryingly we’ve seen a real climb in unemployment locally, in particular for men, with the last available data showing a rate of more than 10 per cent unemployment for males, and 8.1 per cent overall.
“As the mining industry slows we see flow on effects through the broader region with a lot of organisations and their employees directly and indirectly impacted.
“The decrease in unemployment nationally is great but the result mustn’t be treated in isolation, and may be very different for Newcastle. We need the Federal Government to show some real leadership and I again call on Tony Abbott to reveal his plan for Australian jobs and industry.
“Closing your eyes and hoping for the best isn’t a plan and does nothing to help restore confidence for our local manufacturers and businesses.”