A potential incoming Labor Government will face an uphill battle to deal with a sluggish economy and high unemployment following today’s release of January jobs data, Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt said today.

Mr Pitt said today’s news that trend unemployment was 6.5% in Queensland while seasonally adjusted unemployment had increased from 6.2% to 6.5% indicated there were still underlying problems with the state economy.

“In trend terms, there are 30,000 more unemployed people in Queensland than there were in March 2012,” he said.

“Under the LNP, unemployment increased from 5.5% in 2012 to 6.5% in January 2015 in trend terms.

“In Tim Nicholls’ own words, the trend rate is a more reliable measure of unemployment than the seasonally adjusted rate.

“No matter how you look it, it’s harder to get a job in Queensland under the economic conditions the LNP have created, and this is being exacerbated by global conditions.

“On either measure of trend or seasonally adjusted there are fewer full-time jobs in Queensland in January than when the Newman Government was elected. This weakness in full-time employment is likely to also impact on the State budget.

Mr Pitt said that despite Tim Nicholl’s and Campbell Newman’s attempts to paint a rosy picture during the election campaign, a Deloitte report pointed out the current Queensland economy and its projected growth were likely to be weaker than forecast in the December Mid Year Fiscal and Economic Review.

“Queensland job seekers and the Queensland economy have both taken a hit under the LNP,” Mr Pitt said.

Mr Pitt said a future Labor Government would introduce a range of programs to increase access to employment training and contribute to economic growth, as outlined in the election campaign, including:

  • A $40 million Business Development Fund to invest in joint ventures with start-up firms wanting to turn their bright ideas into new products and create jobs
  • Creating Jobs Queensland — a round-table authority to advise on current and future skills demand and long-term workforce planning
  • Creating Ready for Work to get young people ready for entering the jobs market — funded under Skilling Queenslanders for Work
  • Reinstating Skilling Queenslanders for Work employment programs to support 32,000 Queenslanders back into employment
  • Offering Payroll Tax Rebates for employers taking on apprentices and trainees
  • Ensuring 10% of workers on major projects were apprentices and trainees
  • $100 million to protect the Great Barrier Reef and the $6 billion and 60,000 jobs it contributed to the Queensland economy
  • Keeping public assets in public hands

Mr Pitt said the LNP has no plans.

“All LNP plans were predicated on asset sales which were rejected by Queensland. They have no plans for job creation and no plans to grow the Queensland economy.”