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Teenage unemployment flatlines - Under employment increases.

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Media Release

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

Thursday 11 August, 2005



While welcoming today's continued low official rate of unemployment, Shadow Employment Minister, Senator Penny Wong, raised concerns about some aspects of the figures.

"Full-time teenage unemployment has stagnated at 20.1 per cent.," Senator Wong said.

"One in five teenagers continues to languish on unemployment queues because the Howard Government is leaving them unprepared, by not investing in their skills.

"In addition, most new jobs have been part-time. But we know from previous ABS figures that over 600,000 part-time workers want more work than they can get.

"One of the major reasons these workers haven't been able to get more work is they don't have the skills employers need.

"Instead of being obsessed with extreme changes to welfare and industrial relations, the Howard Government should be focusing on preparing jobless Australians for work by investing in their skills.

"Labor is pleased that official unemployment levels have dropped to 527,000. But there are over 2 million Australians who are either officially unemployed, want more work or don't show up in the official unemployment figures."

For further information: John Olenich - 0408 841 850