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Drop in recent migrant unemployment rate shows policy success

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Minister for Family and Community Services

-iv A U S T R A L I A ./*-

Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs

Monday, 29 March 1999

Drop in recent migrant unemployment rate shows policy success

Recent ABS Labour Force Survey data demonstrates the success of the Coalition Government’s social security and migration policies, the Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Jocelyn Newman and Minister for Immigration and Multicultural Affairs, Philip Ruddock said today.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows that the most recently arrived migrants, those arriving between January and November 1998, are out performing migrants who arrived in the three years previous.

“The unemployment rate for this group of new arrivals has fallen from 31.8% in 1995, compared to the Australian-born unemployment rate of 8.6% at the same time, to 7.5% in 1998," Senator Newman said.

"This rate is on par with unemployment rates for the Australian-born population, and is a direct result of Coalition Government policies.

“The Coalition’s two-year waiting period for unemployment and other social security benefits for migrants is an important factor in this decline, Senator Newman said."

Minister Ruddock said the dramatic improvement was also attributable to reforms of Australia's immigration program.

“When the Coalition came to office Australia's migration program was comprised of 70% family reunion and less than 30% skilled migrants,” Minister Ruddock said.

"This legacy has been turned around to the extent that the skilled migrant intake now makes up more than 50% of the migration program.

"These migrants are younger, have greater English language proficiency, and arrive equipped with a greater level of skill than previously required. As such they are able to settle into the Australian community and gain meaningful employment quickly,” he said.

Senator Newman said under Labor, Australia’s welfare and migration policies were burdened by an array of competing special interests with Australia’s best interest not a priority.

“This Government has been proven correct in its welfare and migration policies by the ABS statistics,” Senator Newman said.


Media inquiries: Senator Newman’s Office : Richard Wilson 02-6277 7560 or 0419 693 092 or Simon Bush 02-6277 7569 or 0407 780 509 Minister Ruddock’s Office : Brad Robinson 02 6277 7860/0419 278 715