Jobless figures on way down
TOWNSVILLE’S unemployment rate is the lowest in almost a year but there are still almost 11,000 people out of work.
The annual average Townsville unemployment rate released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics yesterday came in at 9.7 per cent for the month of June, down from 10.1 per cent in May.
The last time the rate was at 9.7 per cent was in June and July last year.
The Townsville regional workforce has grown by 700 people to 112,800 but 10,900 people are still unemployed.
Townsville’s June 2017 unemployment participation rate dropped 0.5 per cent in 12 months to 59.9 per cent, slightly up on May’s 59.7 per cent.
Townsville MP Scott Stewart said the figures were well below where they needed to be but he was pleased the city was heading in the right direction.
Mr Stewart attributed the slight improvement in job opportunities to “very popular” State Government initiatives such as the Youth Boost and Back to Work programs.
“We still have a hell of a lot of work to do but these ( programs) have given us a really good shot in the arm,” he said.
Mr Stewart said he was surprised to read in yesterday’s Townsville Bulletin that businessman Gavin Short had to close his Hermit Park salon because he couldn’t find hairdressers.
“I think it comes back to getting people to think about the diverse ways they can transition into work and use opportunities as a stepping stone to get them to the next job,” he said.
Minister for Employment Senator Michaelia Cash was yesterday unavailable for comment but a Department of Employment spokesman said the Federal Government recognised the best form of welfare was a job.
He said one of the ways the Government was looking to increase the participation rate was through the Youth Jobs PaTH ( Prepare, Trial Hire), a Federal Government investment of $ 760 million that is helping more young people into employment.
Clayton Cook, head of Townsville- based human resource, recruitment and training organisation TP Human Capital said the city’s regional economy was showing solid signs of recovery.
“There are more job ads now than there were 12 months ago, there are more job creating projects on the horizon than there were 12 months ago and confidence in Townsville is better than it was 12 months ago,” he said.