Today’s jobless figures show the Newman LNP Government never had a plan to head Queensland towards a 4% unemployment rate, says Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt.
“After inheriting a 5.5% seasonally adjusted jobless rate and promising to take it down to 4% over six years, our state’s unemployment rate is stuck above 6% which is similar to where it was during the global financial crisis,” Mr Pitt said.
“ABS figures for May released today show a 6.2% jobless rate for Queensland which is only a slight improvement on the April figure of 6.3%.
“The LNP was already walking away from its solemn promise to voters of 4% unemployment in six years once the Treasurer started to dismiss it as ‘a stretch target’ a few months ago.
“The State Budget earlier this month confirmed that our state’s jobless rate is likely to be 5.25% by 2017-18 not the 4% promised by then.
“Queensland’s unemployment rate for May of 6.2% seasonally adjusted remains above the national average of 5.8% in May. Queensland’s unemployment rate is the equal second highest of the mainland States (equal with Victoria) and lower than South Australia (6.8%).
“The trend unemployment rate was 6.3% in May up from 6.2% in April. At the election it was 5.5%.
“On a seasonally adjusted basis there were 2,400 jobs created in May. There was strong growth in full-time jobs seasonally adjusted of 18,200. This growth was partially offset by a fall in part-time jobs of 15,800.
“The participation rate fell in May to 66.3% seasonally adjusted (from 66.5% in April). At the election the participation rate was 66.9%.
“Based on the participation rate there are 20,560 Queenslanders who have given up looking for work since the election and are no longer counted in the unemployment statistics.
“If the same percentage of Queenslanders were looking for work as at the election the unemployment rate would be 6.9% seasonally adjusted,” Mr Pitt said.