NEW JOBS DATA: Depending on which side of politics you stand, it's either good or bad news for jobs seekers.
NEW JOBS DATA: Depending on which side of politics you stand, it's either good or bad news for jobs seekers. fizkes

Labor on Rocky ground to hammer Aust Govt on new job figures

ROCKHAMPTON got the scoop today on the latest released ABS unemployment figures with Labor ramping up the pressure on a federal government whose mantra was "jobs and growth”.

In Rockhampton today to bang the drum for improved employment conditions, Shadow Minister For Employment and Workplace Relations Brendan O'Connor said the new Australian Bureau of Statistics data showed thousands more full time workers had joined the job queue in the last month.

"I hear that the government's been crowing about creating jobs but let's be very clear about what's happened, last month we saw a net increase of 4000 permanent part time jobs and a decline of 20000 full time jobs,” Mr O'Connor said.

ON THE ATTACK: Shadow Minister For Employment and Workplace Relations Brendan O'Connor slammed the federal government on the latest jobs figures.
ON THE ATTACK: Shadow Minister For Employment and Workplace Relations Brendan O'Connor slammed the federal government on the latest jobs figures. Leighton Smith

"What we're seeing is very similar to many months where we're getting part time work growth, full time work loss, we're seeing under employment at record highs with more than 1.1 million Australians looking for more work but are not being able to find it.

"You add to that the 720000 unemployed Australians, that's more than 1.8 million Australians who can't find any work or can't find enough work.”

Flanked by Labor's Queensland Senator Murray Watt, Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke and Capricornia candidate Russell Robertson, Mr O'Connor said the government needs to take action with the issues of flat-lining wages, insecure working conditions and not having enough hours to make ends meet.

JOBS DATA: Shadow Minister For Employment and Workplace Relations Brendan O'Connor (left), Labor's Queensland Senator Murray Watt, Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke and Capricornia candidate Russell Robertson attack the federal government on the latest employment statistics.
JOBS DATA: Shadow Minister For Employment and Workplace Relations Brendan O'Connor (left), Labor's Queensland Senator Murray Watt, Rockhampton MP Barry O'Rourke and Capricornia candidate Russell Robertson attack the federal government on the latest employment statistics. Leighton Smith

"We are calling on the Turnbull government with decent jobs to make sure people aren't exploited in work places,” he said.

"When they talk about a job, they mean a job being one hour or more, it speaks to the problem of underemployment.”

Mr O'Connor said the incumbent federal government had now returned unemployment rate to the same level that it was when they took office five years ago.

"There's 35000 more Australians lining the unemployment queues so for that reason we say to the government don't be so arrogant to say you've fixed employment,” he said.

Minister for Jobs and Innovation Senator Michaelia Cash had a different interpretation of the Labour force figures released today which she said showed that seasonally adjusted employment increased by 4,900 in March 2018, to stand at 12,484,100.

Minister for Jobs Senator for Western Australia Michaelia Cash defends her government's performance on employment.
Minister for Jobs Senator for Western Australia Michaelia Cash defends her government's performance on employment.

She said today's continued increase in employment reflected the Government's strong economic policies.

"The Government has put in place the right policy settings which continue to pay dividends, with our economy creating, on average, around 1,000 net new jobs per day over the last 12 months,” Senator Cash said.

"Since the Government came to office in September 2013, we have created a total of 996,800 jobs, an increase of 8.7 per cent.

"The Government is acutely aware that there are still more than 730,000 Australians who remain unemployed and that's why this Government is committed to creating the right market conditions to give local businesses the opportunity to create more and better paying jobs.”

A spokesperson for Capricornia MP Michelle Landry said it was interesting that Labor were happy to rely on unemployment data that appears to support their political narrative but refute the validity of the bumper employment data because it shines a positive light on the Federal Government's success in delivering jobs.

"Unfortunately, while job-seekers across the country are doing better, locally we have a more difficult story to tell,” the spokesperson said.

"Despite generous federal efforts to build real job-creating infrastructure and lower tax rates, inaction from the Labor State Government is causing Central Queensland to haemorrhage jobs.

"Ms Landry will continue to fight for real job-creating infrastructure like Rookwood Weir and the Galilee Basin and will leave Mr O'Connor to continue to miss the point.”

Senator Michaelia Cash listed the following jobs statistics:

  • The seasonally adjusted employment had increased by 367,000 (or 3.0 per cent) over the last year.
  • Full-time employment stands at 8,514,100 - or 2.7 per cent higher than it was 12 months ago.
  • Part-time employment rose by 24,800 over the month, to stand at 3,970,000, and is 140,200 (or 3.7 per cent) higher than a year ago.
  • The seasonally adjusted unemployment rate that was steady in March 2018, at 5.5 per cent - 0.3 percentage points lower than it was in March 2017.
  • Youth unemployment had fallen, to 12.5 per cent in March 2018 - 0.7 percentage points lower than it was a year earlier.


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