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ANZ warns of employment slump.



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Media Release

Penny Wong Labor Senator for South Australia Shadow Minister for Employment and Workforce Participation, Corporate Governance and Responsibility

Monday 4 July, 2005

ANZ WARNS OF EMPLOYMENT SLUMP

Labor is concerned by predictions of growing unemployment in coming months, Shadow Employment Minister Penny Wong said today.

ANZ Senior Economist Tony Pearson this morning said that “it is likely that there will be a large downward correction in employment sometime in the next few months.”

“This is very worrying news for Australian jobseekers,” Senator Wong said.

“It comes on top of figures released today showing that the number of people being trained has fallen under the Howard Government.

“With the Howard Government refusing to invest in the skills of unemployed Australians, a downturn in the labour market is the last thing they need.

“There are already 1.7 million Australians who are officially unemployed or want to work, and a further 600,000 part time workers who want more work than they can get.

“Yet because of the Howard Government’s stubborn incompetence, the nation faces a skills crisis.

“Several industries of critical national importance, such as construction and mining, are struggling to find workers with the right skills.

“The Howard Government ought to be helping to match available workers and available work.

“Instead of importing skilled workers from overseas, the Howard Government should invest in the skills of Australian jobseekers - to give them a better chance of finding a job if jobs growth slows.”

For further information: • John Olenich 0408 841 850