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Thursday, 7 May 1987
Page: 2493

Senator MAGUIRE —I direct my question to the Minister representing the Treasurer. Do the April labour force figures released today provide a guide to the relative performances of the various State economies? If so, what economic policy differences among the States have contributed to the current position?

Senator WALSH —The employment figures released today, which are not seasonally adjusted, show that the Queensland unemployment rate in April was 10.2 per cent while the national figure, as was mentioned earlier, was almost 2 percentage points lower at 8.4 per cent. Queensland has had the highest unemployment rate of any mainland State for the past five consecutive months, including the most recent month of April. It is a continuation of the form displayed by Queensland in 1986 when that State, ruled by the Petersen regime, had the worst rate of unemployment of any mainland State for seven out of the 12 months. In April, Queensland had 19.4 per cent of the total number of jobless, compared with 16 per cent of the national labour force. Also in April the two conservative governed States of Queensland and Tasmania had the highest youth unemployment rates among the States. The unemployment rate in Queensland for the 15- to 19-year-old cohort was 28.4 per cent and in Tasmania 27.3 per cent, compared with an Australian average of just over 22 per cent.