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Labour Force May 2009

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The Hon Julia Gillard MP

Minister for Education. Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Minister for Social Inclusion Deputy Prime Minister

11 June, 2009

Media release

Labour Force May 2009

Labour force figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show that the global recession is washing through the Australian economy.

In line with market expectations, the unemployment rate increased by 0.2 percentage points to 5.7 per cent. This followed an upwardly revised rate for April of 5.5 per cent from 5.4 per cent.

The participation rate rose slightly to 65.5 per cent.

The Rudd Government has acted decisively to stimulate the economy and cushion Australia from the worst effects of the global recession.

There is no doubt that without decisive action, unemployment in this country would be much worse.

While Australia is in a much stronger position than many countries, we are not immune.

Unemployment has reached 9.4 per cent in the United States and 7.1 per cent in the United Kingdom.

The reality is these are tough times for working people across the globe including Australia.

The Government has invested in nation building infrastructure to stimulate every local economy and support local jobs.

We are now seeing 35 000 construction sites popping up around the nation, with all of the benefits of that activity flowing through local communities.

The Government’s top priority is to keep Australians in work.

By investing in the infrastructure of tomorrow, we are supporting jobs today.

But the road ahead is a rocky one, particularly for those Australians that find themselves out of work through no fault of their own.

The Rudd Government stands ready with intensive support and quality training opportunities to ensure the nation is ready to work when the economy begins to recover.

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