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Regional employment goes from strength to strength.

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Hon Joe Hockey MP

Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations Minister Assisting the Prime Minister for the Public Service 23 March, 2007

Media Release

Regional employment goes from strength to strength

The Howard Government’s economic credentials were underlined with figures released today that show

employment in regional and rural Australia is growing strongly.

The Small Area Labour Markets data for the December quarter has highlighted that more than 63 per cent of

the 1350 Statistical Local Areas have recorded a reduction in their unemployment rate over the past 12


Today’s data, which was released by the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations, shows that

strong economic management is leading to new jobs in most regions.

The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, the Hon Joe Hockey MP, said: “Policies such as the

workplace relations reforms and Welfare to Work are key ingredients in securing the economic future of

regional Australia.”

Over 64 per cent of SLAs recording an unemployment rate of less than 5.0 per cent, compared with 60.4 per

cent a year ago and just 16.1 per cent when the Coalition came to office.

Further, only 4.4 per cent of SLAs recorded an unemployment rate of 10 per cent or above, which is down

from 5.3 per cent a year ago and 29.4 per cent in March 1996.

“The hard work of the Howard Government in relation to workplace relations is making significant inroads

into the legacy of high regional unemployment left by Labor,” Minister Hockey said.

“But there are still some areas where unemployment is unacceptably high, which is why we have over 1,100

Job Network services sites across Australia to further improve job outcomes for people in regional areas.”

“The government is offering an unprecedented level of labour assistance to jobseekers at a time when the

economy is crying out for workers.”

The Australian Government’s employment and workplace relations reforms are helping create an


environment in which all those in regional Australian who have the capacity to work are given an opportunity

to work.

Information on the latest data release can be found at:

For further information contact:

Enquiries (02) 6277 7320