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Australian Bureau of Statistics' Labour Force Survey, Parliament House, Canberra, 11.30am, 12 March 1998: doorstop interview.



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R E H Α Μ Ε

AUSTRALIA MONITORING SERVICES

DOORSTOP INTERVIEW WITH DR DAVID KEMP MINISTER FOR EMPLOYMENT, EDUCATION TRAINING & YOUTH AFFAIRS

ON AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS' LABOUR FORCE SURVEY

I 1.30AM 12/03/98

PARLIAMENT HOUSE CANBERRA

MEDIA INQUIRIES - MICHAEL SMITH 0 16 287 494 02 6277 7460

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R E H A M E

DOORSTEP INTERVIEW OUTSIDE PARLIAMENT HOUSE REGARDING AUSTRALIAN BUREAU OF STATISTICS LABOUR FORCE SURVEY. INTERVIEW W ITH FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT MINISTER, DR DAVID KEMP.

DR D A VID KEMP - FEDERAL E M P LO Y M E N T M INISTER:

I’d like to m ake som e com m e nts on the labour fo rce statistics th a t have

been released this m orning. W e no w have in A ustralia the lo w e st

u n e m p lo ym e n t rate at e ig h t p o in t one p e r c e n t fo r seven years. W e 're

going to see sustained and continuing job g ro w th . T h e G o v e rn m e n t’s

tough decisions in the last tw o budgets are d e fin ite ly paying o ff fo r

unem ployed people in Australia. The ... I’ve g o t a jo b situation w hich I

th in k w ill give h e a rt to all those Australians w h o are looking fo r w o rk .

A particularly pleasing feature o f the statistics to d a y has been the fall in

the youth u n e m p lo ym e n t rate. W e are seeing n o w th e lo w e st n u m b e r

o f unem ployed teenagers looking fo r w o rk th a t w e ’ve seen in the last

eight years. T h a t’s still, o f course, th a t’s tw e n ty -s ix p e r cent, a rate

w hich is far to o high, b u t the G o ve rn m e n t has o f course p u t in to place a

range o f com prehensive policies to open up jo b o p p o rtu n itie s to young

Australians.

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R E H A M EAUSTRALIA MONITORING SERVICES KEMR C O N T /D :

This year, the n e w national apprenticeship system is com ing in to place.

W e are seeing g ro w in g num bers o f young people m oving in to

traineeships. T h e N ational Literacy Plan com es in to place this year. T he

C o m m o n Y o uth A llow ance is giving young people a positive message

th a t th e y ’ve g o t to invest in th e ir skills and th a t a life on the dole is n o t a

satisfactory o p tio n and it changes the balance b e tw e e n being on

une m p lo ym e n t and being in fu rth e r educational training. So these job

figures today are good news and th e y show th a t the G o v e rn m e n t’s

policies are paying o ff fo r unem ployed Australians.

REPORTER:

D o th e y show th a t A ustralia is w ithstanding the Asian onslaught?

KEMP:

W ell, the jobs figures today, I th in k, reveal th a t w e ’ve still g o t th e stron g

basis in this econ om y fo r jobs g ro w th . T he Australian econ om y could

n o t be in a b e tte r situation to w ithstand w h a t has happened in Asia and

w e ’re seeing th e foundation fo r jobs g ro w th still ve ry stron g in the

econom y.

REPORTER:

D o you th in k the u n e m p lo ym e n t ra te ’s going to fall b e lo w eight p e r

cent?

KEMP:

W ell, the G o v e rn m e n t’s forecast is that the u n e m p lo ym e n t rate w ill be

eight p e r c e n t in the m iddle o f this year and w e ’re w e ll on track to

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R E H A M EAUSTRALIA MONITORING SE R VICE S KEMR C O N T /D :

achieve th a t forecast. It’s n o w eight p o in t one p e r ce n t and the

G o ve rn m e n t is c o n fid e n t th a t w e ’ll achieve th a t rate.

REPORTER:

W h a t abo ut going b e lo w eight?

KEMP:

W e ll, obviously in th e lead up to th e budget w e ’re looking at th e fu tu re

prospects fo r th e e co n o m y and w e ’ll be m aking o u r assessments clear at

th a t tim e .

REPORTER:

M inister, econ om ic g ro w th slow ed in the fo u rth q u a rte r. W h e n w ill jobs

g ro w th slo w accordingly?

KEMP.

W ell, w e ’re still seeing th e jobs g ro w th com ing th ro u g h . T h e re ’s alm ost

fifteen thousand n e w jobs com ing through this m o n th w ith a hundred

and th irty thousand n e w jobs o v e r the last six m onths. Jobs g ro w th is

still strong. W e ’ve already facto red in to the forecast, th e initial im pact

o f the events in Asia and I th in k unem ployed people can be co n fid e n t

th a t w e ’ll contin ue to see good jobs g ro w th com ing thro ugh.

REPORTER:

Can you co n firm ...[in d istin ct]...

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R E H A M EAUSTRALIA MONITORING SERVICES KEMP:

W ell, em plo yers are still keen enough th a t th e ir inten tions are to hire

m ore people as the year goes on and I th in k th a t th a t is th e best possible

basis on w hich to lo ok ahead. I mean, obviously particular indicators

fluctuate fro m m o n th to m onth. You d o n ’t w a n t to place to o m uch

w e ig h t on any particular fluctuations in any in dica tor. T h e fundam entals

o f the A ustralia e con om y are v e ry sound. The G o v e rn m e n t’s decisions

are paying o ff in te rm s o f m o re jobs fo r Australians w h o have n o w g o t

the lo w e st u n e m p lo ym e n t rate fo r seven years and th a t has to be good

new s fo r this c o u n try.

REPORTER:

Is th e Labor m a rk e t n o w fire p ro o f w h e n it com es to Asia?

KEMP:

W ell, w e ’ve already facto red in to o u r forecast th e initial im pact o f w h a t’s

happened in Asia and th e fundam entals o f th e eco n o m y rem ain sound.

REPORTER:

D r Kem p, w h y should Senator Parer n o t resign fo r his [indistinct]?

KEMP:

W ell, th e Prim e M in iste r’s made th e G o v e rn m e n t’s position v e ry clear

on th a t last night and I’m n o t going to be adding to that.

REPORTER:

...[indistinct]...

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R E H A M E

KEMP:

W e ll again you d o g e t fluctuations fro m m onth to m o n th . I th in k th e

overall p icture is th a t fu ll-tim e jobs g ro w th has been ve ry, v e ry strong

o v e r the past six m onths. Some tw o -th ird s o f th a t jobs g ro w th has been

fu ll-tim e e m p lo ym e n t and w e ’re v e ry co n fid e n t that, you kn o w , those

real fu ll-tim e jobs are going to continue to com e th ro u g h .

REPORTER:

D o you have any feeling fo r w h y the yo u th u n e m p lo ym e n t rate fell?

W e re there p articular jobs created in particular yo u th o rie n ta te d areas?

KEMP:

W e ll, w e are seeing v e ry stron g g ro w th in traineeships at th e m o m e n t

and n e w apprenticeships and w h a t th a t indicates is th a t across th e w h o le

range o f industries, th e re are n o w g ro w in g o p p o rtu n itie s fo r young

Australians to g e t real jobs. So I th in k the figures today sim ply confirm

th a t w e ’re seeing it in those o th e r areas.

REPORTER:

So y o u ’re saying th e y ’re real jobs? Y o u’re n o t ju st shuffling them through

training program s to g e t them o ff th e ...

KEMP:

W e ll, w e ’re talking about quality training w hich is linked to real jobs.

W e ’re not talking abo ut th e kind o f s h o rt te rm planning program s w e

saw under th e previous G o ve rn m e n t. And o f course, as w e kn o w ,

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R E H A Μ EAUSTRALIA MONITORING SERVICES KEMP C O N T /D :

young people th a t go in to apprenticeships are the young people w h o are

best placed to go on in to continuing em plo ym e nt.

REPORTER:

...[indistinct]...

KEMP:

W ell, obviously the G o v e rn m e n t is d e te rm in e d th a t the fiscal situation is

going to rem ain v e ry sound. I mean, w e ’re n o t going to th ro w away

these gams th a t have been made o ve r the previous tw o years and I’m

quite sure th a t the B udget decisions th a t are to be announced by th e

T re a su re r w ill re fle c t that.

REPORTER.

The fact th a t p a rt-tim e e m p lo ym e n t has g ro w n m o re than fu ll-tim e

e m p lo ym e n t - h o w concerned are you about u nd er-em ploym e nt?

KEMP:

W ell again, as I say, you have to look at these figures in the c o n te x t o f the

last fe w m onths and th e overall p ictu re is one o f sustained g ro w th in fu ll­

tim e e m p lo ym e n t. So w h a t w e are seeing is Australians n o w having

m uch gre a te r jo b o p p o rtu n itie s than th e y ’ve had fo r years. I m ean, the

fu ll-tim e jobs g ro w th in the last six m onths has been the stron gest fo r

tw o and a half years and th a t’s obviously ve ry good new s fo r

unem ployed people.

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R E H A M E

U N ID E N TIFIE D SPEAKER:

Thank you v e ry m uch everybody.

KEMP:

Thank you.

END OF SEGMENT

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