Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt says there is no end-of-year joy for job seekers in today’s Queensland unemployment figures.
“Almost three years after promising to have our state heading towards a 4% jobless rate, all the LNP has delivered is a 6.9% rate seasonally adjusted for November – the highest unemployment in mainland Australia,” Mr Pitt said.
“Queensland now has the equal-highest seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in the nation along with Tasmania.
“The trend unemployment rate, also at 6.9% in November, is the highest it has been since May 2003. At the 2012 election, the trend unemployment rate was 5.5%.
“The Newman LNP Government has failed and disappointed job seekers yet again, this time just before Christmas. It is a job-cutting government not a job-creating one.
“In November, 8,100 full-time jobs were lost seasonally adjusted. On a trend basis 3,600 full-time jobs were lost.
“In November, Queensland had 29,100 fewer full-time jobs seasonally adjusted or 23,700 fewer full-time jobs on a trend basis than when the Newman Government was elected in March 2012.
“Another 37,800 Queenslanders have been added to the unemployment queue since the election, seasonally adjusted.
“Treasurer Tim Nicholls inherited from Labor a jobless rate of 5.5% and has done nothing except sit by and watch it rise and rise and rise.
“Somehow the Newman Government can find tens of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ funds to run political ad campaigns, but says there is no money for investing in job-creating projects especially in regional Queensland.
“The Premier claims the state is ‘cash poor’ yet wastes millions on propaganda and has committed taxpayers to spending $2.6 billion on its accommodation plans including a new but unnecessary Executive Building in the Brisbane CBD.
“Campbell Newman said before the 2012 election he had a plan for a 4% jobless rate that did not rely on asset sales. Now the only plan he has is to sell assets which will see more jobs go and the cost of living rise as power bills go up.
“The LNP have a plan for asset sales when what Queenslanders really need is a plan for jobs.”
Mr Pitt said the official growth, unemployment and retail trade figures all show that Queensland’s economy has gone backwards under the Newman LNP Government.
“On any measure Treasurer Tim Nicholls and the Newman LNP Government have failed Queenslanders on jobs.
“But behind the statistics are people without the jobs the LNP promised, and households finding it hard to battle the cost of living the LNP said it would lower.”
Mr Pitt said Labor had already released a string of policies focused on jobs:
- reinstating the successful Skilling Queenslanders for Work program cut by the LNP
- establishing Jobs Queensland to secure industry advice on skills needed in the labour market
- its Advance Queensland policy to plan for the jobs of the future by focussing on innovation and local technological and scientific skills
- Ready for Work to help young people enter the labour market by partnering with P&C groups to deliver programs such as CV writing and improve literacy levels, and
- providing a 25% payroll tax rebate for apprentices to encourage employers to hire young people.
“We will be releasing more initiatives for jobs as we get closer to the 2015 state election,” he said.