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Monday, 9 February 2015
Page: 271


(Question Nos 575 and 577)

Mr Kelvin Thomson asked the Minister representing the Minister for Employment, in writing, on 14 November 2014:

Is the Minister aware of the latest Small Area Labour Markets (June Quarter 2014) figures, which show that unemployment in Melbourne's inner northern suburbs has been increasing rapidly since the 2013 election of the Government.

Mr Pyne: The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

The Minister is aware of employment data for Melbourne.

In addition, the Minister notes that while historical Small Area Labour Market data are only available back to December 2012, the unemployment rate in the ABS Statistical Area Level 4 (SA4) of Melbourne - Inner (the SA4 within which the majority of Melbourne's inner northern suburbs fall) rose from 3.3 per cent in November 2007 to 6.6 per cent in September 2013, before increasing to 6.7 per cent in October 2014. It is noted that the Honourable Member did not express any concern for the doubling of the unemployment rate under the government of which he was a member.

It is clear that some Australian regions are currently experiencing difficult labour market conditions, which is why the Government is implementing a multi-faceted strategy that will create jobs through a strong economy, whilst ensuring that job seekers have the skills, support and incentives to take up these jobs. The Government's Economic Action Strategy will get the economic fundamentals right, reduce red tape, and boost investment which will create confidence in the economy and support employers to create jobs.

The Government recognises that job creation needs to be matched by measures that ensure that job seekers have the skills employers need, which is why it has announced changes to employment services which commence in July 2015. These changes will reinvigorate employment services for job seekers and employers and deliver a system that is more responsive and focused on results. Combined with reforms to vocational education and training, job seekers will be work ready, ensuring that Australia's workforce is skilled and flexible.

It is regrettable that the Honourable Member is opposed to almost every job creating measure that this Government has brought forward. He may care to explain to his electorate why he would rather rising unemployment in his electorate than job creating policies.