Today’s regional jobs data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics highlights the need for government action to get young people into work, said Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt.
The ABS Regional and Youth Labour Force data demonstrates the importance of the Palaszczuk Government’s jobs agenda.
“High unemployment and youth unemployment persists in Cairns but that’s a challenge I accept because we can’t consign a generation of kids in Cairns to the unemployment scrapheap,” he said.
“Labor has promised to get more Queenslanders back to work and we’re doing that through our Working Queensland plan which involves $50 million over three years to develop the jobs of tomorrow, $34 million to rescue TAFE in the wake of the LNP’s cuts and $2 million for the Queensland Entrepreneurs of Tomorrow program.”
The data shows the Cairns region has the highest youth unemployment rate at 20.8 per cent and one of the highest overall unemployment rates at 7.5 per cent.
Mr Pitt said he was concerned by figures showing a decline in employment.
“This is why we’re reintroducing the successful ‘Skilling Queenslanders for Work’ program, so we have an energized workforce with the right skills in the right locations.
“It will benefit 32,000 Queenslanders over the next four years, providing them with important skills and employment opportunities.
“Our strategy focuses on job-creating projects and growing the economy, which is the best way to tackle unemployment and provide more employment opportunities in the regions.”
The regional ABS labour force data for April 2015 show Queensland’s overall youth unemployment rate sits at 14.3 per cent, a slight increase of 0.8 percentage point since this time last year.
“However there are some encouraging signs at a statewide level, with the trend unemployment rate remaining steady in April at 6.6 per cent,” the Treasurer said.
“There was also a trend towards full-time employment in Queensland in April, with 5,300 full-time jobs added. But we recognise there’s more to be done.
“We’ve also committed $200 million for the Building our Regions fund to deliver jobs-generating infrastructure in regional areas.”