13,000 jobless and rising on the Sunshine Coast
THE unemployment rate on the Sunshine Coast nudged up to almost 2% higher than the national average in June.
A tight job market has meant more than 13,000 people remained unemployed across the region.
The Coast's unemployment rate was seasonally adjusted to 7.7% in June, almost 2% higher than the national figure of 6% and and also significantly worse than the Queensland rate of 6.3%, Department of Employment figures showed.
Of concern is the participation rate - the number of people employed or actively seeking employment - which is significantly lower on the Coast compared with the rest of the state.
The 64.3% participation rate of Coast residents was 2% lower than the Queensland figure of 66.3% in June and also slightly lower than the national rate of 64.7%.
Cotton Tree-based East Coast HR managing director Michalle Faulkner said the situation had left an excess of highly qualified candidates frozen out of the job market.
"It is a tough marketplace out there," she said.
"From an East Coast perspective, we're always open to candidates registering with us, so we're seeing at least one candidate a day."
Ms Faulkner said the difficulties in finding employment were indiscriminate on the Coast, with people of varied ages, experience and expertise among her clients.
"We can interview a junior candidate one day and a mature-aged worker the next," she said.
Nationwide, a Department of Employment spokeswoman confirmed the extremes of the workforce were both suffering in the softer labour market.
"The mature-age (55 years and over) unemployment rate has risen by 0.4 percentage points over the last year to stand at 3.6% in June 2014 (the date of the latest available mature-age data), while young people have been disproportionately affected, with the youth (15 to 24-year-old) unemployment rate increasing from 11.9% in July 2013 to 14.1% in July 2014," she said.
Ms Faulkner said prospective employees could enhance their chances of recruitment in simple ways.
"Flexibility makes everyone more attractive," she said.
"Connecting with people is important. Make sure mobile phones are on, have a professional message on your phone, regularly check your emails, follow up and keep in touch with your agencies."
Read about one woman's struggle to find work on the Coast in tomorrow's Daily
97,600 employed full-time
65,600 employed part-time
98,000 not in labour force
* figures from Dept of Employment (June 2014)