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Unemployment rate at 4.4%: lowest since 1974

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Hon Joe Hockey MP

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service 10 May, 2007

Media Release

Unemployment Rate At 4.4% - Lowest Since 1974

ABS Labour Force figures released today show that Australia’s unemployment rate fell to 4.4 per cent in April

2007, its lowest level since November 1974.

"These figures confirm that the labour market reforms of the Howard Government have significantly

improved job prospects for all Australians," the Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, the Hon

Joe Hockey MP said today.

"With an impressive 326 200 jobs having been created since March 2006, the Opposition’s fatuous claim that

the workplace reforms would destroy jobs is truly dead. Instead of the sky falling in, as the Opposition and the

unions claimed at the time, we have seen clear blue sky for Australians looking for work.

"There are now more Australians in work than ever before, with seasonally adjusted employment surging by

49 600 over the month to stand at a record high of 10 416 600.

"Overall, since the Howard Government came to office, more than 2 million jobs have been created, almost 1.2

million of which have been full-time positions.

Full-time employment increased by 11 600 in April, to a record high of 7 453 300, while part-time

employment increased by 38 000 to 2 963 400, also a record high.

A BS data also show that the number of unemployed Australians declined by 5 600 in April, with 257 400

fewer people now out of work than when the Howard Government came to office.

The seasonally adjusted teenage full-time unemployment rate also declined over the month, to 17.3 per cent,

and remains well below the peak of 34.5 per cent recorded under the previous Labor Government.

The teenage full-time unemployment to population ratio (which refers to the proportion of the total teenage

population unemployed and looking for full-time work) fell to just 3.7 per cent in April, its lowest level since

the inception of the monthly Labour Force Survey in February 1978.

Put another way, only around 1 in 27 teenagers in Australia is now unemployed and looking for full-time work.

"The fact that the teenage unemployment to population ratio is at the lowest level since the inception of the

survey in 1978 is great news for young people entering the labour market for the first time," Minister Hockey


"Clearly, with the unemployment rate at a three decade low, there has never been a better opportunity in a

generation for people to break the cycle of welfare dependency and secure employment."

"The Howard Government’s economic management credentials continue to stack up against the failed and

confused policy backflips of the Opposition."

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