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Unemployment benefit claims drop in Central West.

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Sandy Macdonald The Nationals Senator for NSW 21 April 2004

Unemployment benefit claims drop in Central West The number of people in the Central West claiming unemployment welfare benefits such as the Newstart and Youth Allowance has dropped, NSW Senator Sandy Macdonald announced today.

The March 2004 Labour Market and Related Payments monthly profile has been released by the Department of Family and Community Services and highlights a 4.9% fall in the number of people claiming unemployment benefits nationally.

“The number of Central West people claiming these benefits has dropped in each of the four customer service centres of Lithgow, Bathurst, Cowra and Orange,” Senator Macdonald said.

“This is wonderful news for the Central West and reinforces that unemployment is gradually decreasing in the region,” he said.

“The Coalition Government has created more than 1.2 million jobs since being elected since 1996 - its record speaks for itself with low interest rates and record low unemployment figures,” Senator Macdonald said.

Jobseekers receiving Newstart Allowance and Youth Allowance (other) by Area Support Office.

Variation: February-March 2004

Centre February March Number Percent

Bathurst 1003 950 -53 -5.3%

Cowra 511 494 -17 -3.3%

Lithgow 733 727 -6 -0.8%

Orange 1,192 1,118 -74 -6.2%

(Only Area Support Office and Customer Service Centre figures are given)

Media contact: Rachel Kingsford Smith 6766 6998 / 0427 570 506