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Ferguson cautiously welcomes employment figures.



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MEDIA RELEASE

 

MARTIN FERGUSON MP

Member for Batman

 

 

FERGUSON CAUTIOUSLY WELCOMES EMPLOYMENT FIGURES

 

11 March, 1999

 

The Shadow Minister for Employment, Training and Population, Martin Ferguson has cautiously welcomed the fall in the unemployment rate, revealed in today’s Labour Force Survey, to 7.4%.

 

“While this is good news for job seekers, we can only hope this will be sustained in future months”, he said

 

Mr Ferguson said it was now time to look at the hard core of long term unemployed.

 

“What we need now is to ensure that adequate resources are dedicated to assisting these people to gain the skills and training they require to rejoin the workforce, which will also require a review of the Jobs Network. This is an area the Government should focus on as a matter of urgency”, he said.

 

The situation will not be helped if the policies proposed by Peter Reith in his infamous leaked document are given any credibility.

 

Mr Ferguson cautioned that monthly employment figures can be notoriously volatile. “The fact is that in three years the Howard Government has reduced the number of unemployed persons by less than 70,000—whereas almost 700,000 people remain unemployed. Further, the Government has produced employment growth of less than 11,000 per month, which compares with Labor’s average monthly job growth of over

20,000 in its last three years.”

 

What we have here is a promising set of figures, a hope that the downward trend in the DEWRSB leading economic indicator does not continue, and more importantly that the Government moves immediately to address the festering issue of the long term unemployed by initiating real policies and training initiatives.

 

For further information contact Pete Steedman on (02) 6277 4899

 

 

HOWARD'S FAILURE ON JOBS - THE FACTS

 

EMPLOYMENT GROWTH (LABOR AGAINST COALITION)

 

 

 

Labor's last 3 years

Howard's 3 years

Employment growth

729,900

382,800

- full time

436,200

169,700

- part time

293,700

213,100

Unemployment rate

11% - 8.4%

8.4% - 7.4%

 

(down 2.6%)

(down 1%)

Participation rate

63.8%

63.1%

 

 

KEY EMPLOYMENT INDICATORS SINCE HOWARD'S ELECTION

(seasonally adjusted)

 

 

Feb 1996

Feb 1999

Change

Unemployed Persons

764,100

696,500

-67,600

Unemployed Males

452,000

406,500

-45,500

Unemployed Females

312,200

290,100

-22,100

Young Unemployed

88,500

70,000

-18,500

 

 

 

DATE:  11 March 1999

 

 

JS