Confidence boost for Hinkler economy

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

The Wide Bay unemployment rate has decreased significantly in recent months, showing the Coalition Government’s efforts to help people find a job are working.

Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt said ABS data released today shows the monthly Wide Bay unemployment rate decreased from 9.3 per cent in June to 7.9 per cent in July.

“As I have said previously, monthly regional data should be treated with caution as it is particularly volatile and can fluctuate substantially,” Mr Pitt said.

“However, the more reliable three-monthly average tells a similarly positive story. The unemployment rate for the three months to July this year dropped to 9.2 per cent, compared to 10.4 per cent for the three months to June.

“When we compare the current unemployment rate to the same time last year, the three month average was 9.6 per cent and the monthly rate for July was 9.3 per cent.

“Reducing unemployment takes time; it’s not something that can be achieved overnight.

“I’m pleased to see our policies are helping restore confidence in our local economy.    

“I understand there are several challenges to gaining employment in the Hinkler electorate, including a lack of job vacancies and a high number of applicants.

“That’s why we’ve introduced a range of measures to help job seekers stand out in what is a highly competitive market.

“Through Work for the Dole, the National Work Experience Program and Green Army, job seekers are learning important skills while contributing to their communities.

“The 2015 Budget includes $330 million for a Youth Employment Strategy to help young people transition from school to work.

“Young job seekers who find a job and stay off welfare for 12 months will receive a job commitment bonus of $2500, and a further $4000 at 24 months.

“We’re providing concessional trade support loans of up to $20,000 and spending $200 million each year to lift apprenticeship completion rates.   

“We’re also providing up to $9000 to help people relocate to take up a job.”

Mr Pitt said giving job seekers a hand up was just one piece of the puzzle.

“We’re also giving businesses the confidence they need to expand because, ultimately it is businesses that create jobs – not governments,” he said.

“Businesses who employ young or mature age job seekers can access wage subsidies of up to $10,000.

“We’ve reduced the company tax rate to its lowest level in 50 years and are allowing small businesses to claim an immediate tax deduction for each asset they purchase up to $20,000.

“We all have a role to play in creating jobs for current and future generations. There are two simple things Hinkler residents can do to boost our economy: shop locally and tell everyone how great our region is!

“I will continue to work with my State Government and Council colleagues to attract public and private investment to our region.”

[ENDS] Media contact: Larine Statham 0427 653 814