Queensland has the highest unemployment rate in the country.
Queensland has the highest unemployment rate in the country.

Work thins as unemployment rate rises

BLACKWATER resident Tyler Thatcher has spent four months searching for a job.

Despite having manual labour qualifications and the help of recruitment agencies, he is yet to secure work.

“It’s been ridiculously hard to find a proper full-time job,” he said.

“I’ve done a bit of casual work at the local post office in town and some cash-in-hand work, but nothing long-term.”

New ABS figures reveal the Sunshine State’s unemployment rate climbed to 6.7 per cent in January, the highest in the country and a 1.4 per cent increase on the previous month.

Member for Gregory, Lachlan Millar, said a lack of confidence in the economy had led to the increase and said Queensland’s job market should be comparable to that of New South Wales and Victoria.

“This is Queensland,” he said. “We should not be one of the worst performers in the country.

“There’s no confidence in the economy at the moment. I honestly believe that we can’t continue to place more taxes on small business and take their confidence away.

“But we’ve got great resources here – mining, agriculture – and I do think the rain we’ve had over the past weeks will inject some confidence.”

The figures show there are number of 181,200 job seekers in Queensland which has a total labour force of 2,708,700. The 6.7 per cent unemployment rate is one percentage point higher than the national average.

Emerald Chamber of Commerce president Victor Cominos said jobs do exist but the free market often failed to provide a supply of suitable workers.

“There are jobs around town,” he said.

“But I believe that work opportunities need to be created. You need to create work to suit the applicants.”

Mr Cominos said he supported more government regulation to protect regional businesses.


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