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July employment figures



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P A R L I A M E N T O F A U S T R A L I A

H O U S E Ο Γ R E P R E S E N T A T I V E S

MEDIA STATEMENT BY PETER SHACK SHADOW MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT & INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS

JULY EMPLOYMENT FIGURES

Opposition Spokesman on Employment and Industrial Relations, Peter Shack, said today that while any improvement in unemployment was welcome, the preliminary July labour force statistics did not provide convincing evidence that there had been a turnaround in unemployment. ,

"The 0.5% decline in measured unemployment in July must be interpreted in the context of other fluctuations in unemployment over the last six months.

"in March, unemployment rose by 0.5%. in June, unemployment rose by 0.3% .

"During these months, when movements in the unemployment rate cast an unfavourable reflection on the Government, the Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations urged caution when interpreting these monthly figures.

"It will be highly hypocritical of Mr. Willis to claim , this month's improvement in unemployment as a triumph for the Government's employment policies when he.:lias so strongly discounted the statistical validity of similar recent monthly statistics showing a worsening in the unemployment problem."

Mr. Shack said that the Government had a large number of serious problems on its plate, all with the potential to reverse the slight improvement in unemployment over the last year. .

"The 0.6% improvement in unemployment in the twelve months to July 1985 could easily be dissipated unless the Government forcefully points out to the union movement the danger of abandoning wage restraint in a still precariously poised economy.

"The prospects for substantial future improvements in unemployment over the coming year will depend very much on the Government's handling of the union movement's resistance to discounting, and forthcoming union productivity and superannuation claims.

"Less attention should be given to maintaining real wages and more attention given to getting the 8.2% of the workforce still unemployed back into jobs."

8th August, 1985 Contact: (09) 364 5554, 364 2775