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Closer look shows no jobs growth and little hope

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P A R L I A M E N T O F A U S T R A L I A ยท H O U S E O F R E P R E S E N T A T I V E S

January 15, 1998


The fall in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate by 0.2 percentage points to a new rounded figure o f 8.1 per cent is welcome, but a closer look at today’s figures shows little cause for optimism about jobs.jvlartin Ferguson, the Shadow Minister for Employment, Training, Population and Immigration, said today.

M a r t i n F e r g u s o n m p

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“ The number o f jobs in Australia has actually fallen according to today’s figures - by six thousand in December.

“ The fall in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is due not to any job growth but instead a big drop in the participation rate - to 63.2 per cent, reflecting many people’s lack o f hope of finding a job. At the time of the 1996 Federal election the participation rate was running at 63 8 per


“ The more reliable trend measure says that the unemployment rate is still stuck at the high level o f 8.3 per cent.

“ The rate o f youth unemployment, at 28.1 per cent, remains higher than when the Howard Government came to office despite John Howard’s promise to reduce it as his highest priority in his first term.

“ The number o f unemployed people has only fallen by 623 people each month since the Howard Government was elected.

“ At this rate it will take another seven years to get below 700 000 unemployed people in Australia.

“ In its first 22 months the Howard Government has created less than half the number o f jobs as the former Labor Government in its last 22 months, meaning that the unemployment rate is still much higher than it would have been had Labor’s policies and programs been maintained

“ The effects of the Asian financial crisis on tourism, jobs and confidence in Australia are yet to show up in the official unemployment figures

“ The Government needs to adopt urgent new measures now to re-start jobs growth and cut unemployment down to much lower levels, before the effects o f the Asian economic crisis really start to bite.”

For further information: Andrew Casey, Martin Ferguson’s office: 03/9482 4644

Electorate Office: 48 High Street, Northcote 3070 Tel: 03 9482 4644 Fax: 03 9489 0984 W (*) > W F W > N 0 t i j g