Unemployment eases but still high
THE Wide Bay Burnett's unemployment figures have dropped for April, but still remain well above the national rate.
Federal Member for Wide Bay Warren Truss said the unemployment rate had climbed 1% a month for January, February and March, but had now fallen to 7.2% from 8.5% in the Wide Bay Burnett region.
"While I welcome the fall in the numbers, our region is still well above the national unemployment rate of 4.9%," Mr Truss said.
"The figures have become so volatile that they are almost unbelievable, with unemployment hitting 12.3% in August last year."
Mr Truss said he was worried the number did not accurately reflect businesses confidence stress in the region.
"I am concerned that the fall in the number masks the feel on the street.
"Retailers, restaurants and tourism operators throughout the Wide Bay region continue to tell me that business is down, people are not spending, and confidence is low.
"In times of uncertainty, people look to their government to establish a strong economic direction for the future.
"Unfortunately the Gillard Labor government's carbon tax budget did nothing to kickstart the regional economy, only delivering more debt, more broken promises and a new $36 billion tax on everything," Mr Truss said.
"Labor's carbon tax will impede growth and act as a brake on the economy. With such volatility there could not be a worse time to introduce the world's biggest carbon tax.
"Labor's broken promise to cut the company tax rate, while significantly increasing business costs through the carbon tax, acts as a disincentive for employers to take on more staff.
"Labor has also made it harder for business to do business.
"In spite of Labor's promise to cut red tape with a 'one regulation in, one regulation out' rule since federal Labor's election to government, 16,173 new regulations have been enacted but only 79 have been repealed."