Gillard talks labour mobility

AUSTRALIA has to crack the nut of getting people to move to regional areas for jobs, Prime Minister Julia Gillard told a group of corporate and union leaders on Tuesday night.

In an address to open her economic forum on Tuesday night, Ms Gillard said the discussion today had to turn to labour mobility.

"Workforce is one of the real nubs of the economic discussion in Australia," she said.

"We're doing structural adjustment at a time of employment growth, and that's a good thing, but it doesn't make the fact of a business closing its doors any easier on the day it happens.

"And anyone here who was a bit reluctant to leave home and get up to Brisbane for this night will have a bit of insight into why working families need some convincing that their next job is on the other side of the country.

"But we've got to crack this nut and it's one of those issues which genuinely demands a range of measures because it reflects a range of factors."

Ms Gillard's speech capitalised on a week of good economic news for the government, with positive national accounts and jobs growth figures out last week.

She also called out to business to spruik the Australian economy.

"And it's quite false to say that this was built only on mining - consumer spending was measurably stronger this first quarter than last year - and there's a message in that for those who continue to jawbone the country down," she said.

"It's increasingly clear that we've got the macro policy settings right."



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