FRASER DEFIANT OF UNEMPLOYMENT RISE

FRASER DEFIANT OF UNEMPLOYMENT RISE

STATISTICS released today show Queensland’s unemployment rate has risen 0.2 percentage points in July to 5.6 per cent, but Treasurer Andrew Fraser is still spruiking the state’s jobs growth as the best in the country.

ABS Labour Force data for July indicates an additional 10,000 Queenslander’s are looking for work; with the unemployment rate now well above the national average of 5.1 per cent (seasonally adjusted).

But Fraser touts the fact that Queensland has created 2200 of Australia's 3000 new jobs, with the rise in unemployment only demonstrative of the increased demand for work.

“While we have seen jobs growth continue, we have seen even more people looking for work. That's why we remain committed to driving jobs generation,” says Fraser.

“Queensland powered to record a fourth month of consecutive jobs growth since the natural disasters disrupted the 16 month streak from July 2009 to December 2010. The jobs growth in Queensland was split evenly between full-time and part-time growth.

“In the midst of global economic uncertainty, this is a strong result that should boost business confidence.”

It’s unlikely the ABS statistics will provide any boost in confidence, with Queensland having the highest unemployment figure of any Australian state.

Tasmania is the next highest at 5.2 per cent, while Western Australia has dropped its unemployment rate a staggering 0.5 percentage points to 4.6 per cent.

The latter figure, the lowest in the country, is of particular concern given the synergies between Queensland and WA’s burgeoning resources sector.

The disparity highlights the extent of Queensland’s two-speed economy, with mining booming but other key economic drivers, such as property development and tourism, still struggling amid poor economic conditions.

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