Unemployment hits year long high

NEW figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics last week reveal overall unemployment in Gympie and the Wide Bay region increased by 4100 people to 12,900 over the past month.

Local Member, David Gibson MP, said he heard more often that businesses and families were doing it tough and relying more on the Salvation Army and other charitable organisations.

“You only have to walk down Mary Street and see another business closing.”

The region’s unemployment rate is now at 9.3 per cent compared to 5.3 per cent for Queensland.

Mr Gibson said these figures “raise real concerns” when the upcoming cuts in local public service jobs are taken into account.

“Under the Bligh Labor Government we have seen the loss of over 100 jobs at Main Roads here in Gympie and there are rumours circulating that even more public service jobs are at risk,” he said.

“I’m concerned what the loss of any public service jobs will have in a knock-on effect on private sector employment in the region.”

Mr Gibson said the year on year figures had unemployment at 8.3 per cent in September last year, one per cent less than the same month this year.

“We’ve had a huge jump from year on year but a bigger worry is the jump from August to September.”

He said the region was losing a lot more jobs that it was gaining and with stimulus work winding up it was getting harder.

“This long term Labor Government has failed miserably when it comes to getting Gympie working, these unemployment figures in particular show their utter complacency and failure to respond to the current challenges.

“With the unemployment rate higher than many parts in the State, it’s time for Anna Bligh and her ministers to get serious.

“Local business are doing it tough under Labor with increases in electricity and water and local families are spending less as they face increases in the cost of living with price hikes in car rego, electricity and fuel all coming in under Labor’s failed policies.

“We don’t need any more stunts or spin by Anna Bligh and her Ministers, what we want here in Gympie is no more job cuts.”

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