Toowoomba region nears top of worst dole hotspots list

New statistics show parts show the Toowoomba postcode is the third highest in the state for people receiving Newstart payments.
New statistics show parts show the Toowoomba postcode is the third highest in the state for people receiving Newstart payments. DAN PELED

A BREAKDOWN of newly released statistics shows Toowoomba is the third highest area in the state for people receiving dole payments.   

The Department of Social Services figures show Toowoomba's postcode third behind first-placed Bundaberg and Cairns in second, with 3816 people on a Newstart Allowance for the December 2016 quarter.  

Newstart is the major payment for people over 22 who are unemployed, having to satisfy an activity test by actively seeking work or participating in a program to improve employment prospects.  

A further breakdown of the figures by statistical area level showed suburbs in Toowoomba Central, Wilsonton, Darling Heights, the Drayton and Harristown area and Harlaxton with the largest number of people on Newstart.   

The lowest number of people on the payment live in Middle Ridge and Highfields.   

However Classic Recruitment and Services recruitment manager Joy Mingay said new development, such as the Grand Central Shopping Centre, was creating more opportunities for employment.   

"I think there is quite a bit of work around, equally there are people who find it difficult," Ms Mingay said.   "I think there are more opportunities that are opening up than we have seen.  

"Especially after the slowdown in the resource sector where there were a lot of redundancies.   

"We are proving to be busier now than we were at this time last year."  

Ms Mingay said for people unable to find work, shops such as the newly-opened Kmart, Big W and Woolworths in Grand Central were offering people more entry level positions, as well as good people always needed in administration and hospitality.  

"It is very rare that we have someone who is genuinely looking for work not to find a job," she said.   

"Do a bit of homework, find out what people are looking for."  

There are 172,100 people in Queensland on Newstart. The majority are aged over 25 with the most number aged between 35 and 44.  

Topics:  centrelink dole editors picks newstart allowance toowoomba

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