Queensland unemployment worst in the country

 

Queensland has recorded the country's worst unemployment rate at 7.7 per cent, as 209,000 joined the jobless queues in September.

The result, which comes in the middle of the state election campaign, compares with an Australian unemployment rate of 6.9 per cent.

Victoria, which has been in lockdown since July, recorded a rate of 6.7 per cent.

September saw an extra 11,000 Queenslanders looking for work as more people joined the labour market.

Despite 33,000 jobs being created, there were 43,000 more people who wanted a job.

Queensland's unemployment rate in August was 7.5 per cent, having fallen after recording 8.8 per cent in July.

The country's best performing jurisdictions were the ACT at 3.8 per cent and NT on 4.8 per cent.

The news comes as LNP leader Deb Frecklington nominated an ambitious unemployment target of 5 per cent in a bid to get tens of thousands of Queenslanders back to work.

LNP leader Deb Frecklington, campaigning in Mackay, says she wants to cut Queensland’s unemployment rate to 5 per cent. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sarah Marshall
LNP leader Deb Frecklington, campaigning in Mackay, says she wants to cut Queensland’s unemployment rate to 5 per cent. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Sarah Marshall

 

An unemployment target of 5 per cent would be set under a Frecklington Government in a bid to get tens of thousands of Queenslanders back into work in the post-COVID era.

LNP leader Deb Frecklington will pursue the ambitious 5.5 per cent target if she wins the October 31 poll, with an aim to achieve it before the end of the next term of government.

Queensland's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate reached 8.8 per cent in July amid the COVID-19 crisis, before recovering to 7.5 per cent in August - but still well above where it was before the pandemic began.

 

Ms Frecklington said the state's unemployed needed a government with an "economic plan to achieve a jobs target", promising to set one at 5 per cent.

"If you don't set targets, you don't have focus and you simply aren't working hard enough," the Opposition Leader told The Courier-Mail.

"The LNP's target of 5 per cent means Queensland's economy is growing and jobs are being created.

"The LNP's economic plan will create 150,000 jobs by investing in job-creating infrastructure, lowering taxes and reducing electricity prices."

According to Queensland Government Station's Office data, the last time Queensland's unemployment rate was at five per cent was in April, 2009 when Anna Bligh was premier.

The Palaszczuk Government's COVID-19 fiscal and economic review projects that the year average unemployment rate for 2020-21 will be 8.5 per cent, with gross state product of .25 per cent.

The forecasts are based on the key assumption that the spread of the virus remains under control in Queensland and that restrictions "continue to be gradually unwound".

Quizzed yesterday, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk did not nominate a post-COVID unemployment target, as she touted her government's tough border measures.

"Those states that actually put in strict border controls and measures … those economies have been able to come back faster," Ms Palaszczuk said.

"In other parts of the world, industries are shut down. No one is working. You can't work if you're sick.

"I want to keep Queenslanders safe and that is why we have a strong economic recovery plan to get Queenslanders back into work."

Ms Palaszczuk said she wanted Queensland's current unemployment to "absolutely" go down, as she claimed her government had grown 250,000 jobs pre-COVID.

 

 

 

Originally published as Deb sets ambitious post-COVID jobs target


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