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Long-term unemployment falls in May

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Hon Kevin Andrews MP

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service 15 June, 2006

Media Release


Long-term unemployment falls in May

Latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that seasonally adjusted long-term unemployment fell

by 7,300 in May 2006 to stand at 95,000.

Significantly, long-term unemployment has now more than halved (down by 102,800 or 52.0 per cent) since the

Howard Government came to office in March 1996 and remains 234 800 (or 71.2 per cent) below the peak of

329,800 recorded in May 1993 when Kim Beazley was Employment Minister.

Importantly, very long-term unemployment (those unemployed for two years or more) declined by 2,300 (or 4.2

per cent) over the month, confirming that the Government’s policies are benefiting even the most disadvantaged

in the labour market.

The proportion of the total unemployment pool who have been out of work for 12 months or more declined to

18.2 per cent in May 2006, compared with the peak of 36.2 per cent in May 1993 when Kim Beazley was

Employment Minister.

As a result of the significant improvement in labour market conditions under this Government’s

tenure, long-term unemployment now comprises just 0.9 per cent of the entire labour force.

Today’s long-term unemployment statistics follow last week’s labour force figures which revealed that Australia’s

unemployment rate fell to 4.9 per cent in May, to stand at its lowest level since November 1976.

These outstanding labour market achievements reflect clearly this Government’s strong commitment to

providing the necessary assistance to long-term unemployed people to help them break the shackles of welfare

dependency and secure a job.

The Government’s Welfare to Work measures, together with its WorkChoices reforms, will help strengthen

Australia’s economy, in order to facilitate the strong and sustained employment growth that is necessary to

achieve even further reductions in long-term unemployment.

For further information contact:

Kate Walshe 0421 588 794