Govt providing stability for jobs: Hockey
Treasurer Joe Hockey is taking credit for the creation of more than 100,000 full-time jobs since the start of the year.
New data shows the number of people in full-time employment grew 22,200 in May, which helped keep the jobless rate steady at 5.8 per cent for the third month in a row.
However, overall employment eased 4800 because of a 27,000 drop in part-time workers.
Mr Hockey dismissed suggestions the result was because of the previous Labor government, noting it had left office with a forecast of a 6.25 per cent unemployment rate.
“It quite clearly appears that we have turned around the trajectory,” he told reporters in Darwin on Thursday.
Mr Hockey took aim at Bill Shorten, saying the opposition leader had been proven “dead wrong” by claiming big job cuts at Ford, Holden, Toyota, SPC Ardmona and Qantas would be the “end of all time”.
“Our decisions to provide stability, certainty and predictability have been proven right,” he said.
The fact that more than 100,000 full-time jobs had been created since the beginning of this year illustrated the fact that the government was on track with the economy.
Labor’s employment spokesman Brendan O’Connor said while the unemployment rate was steady in May, the participation rate declined.
This indicated a growing problem of unemployed people giving up on finding a job, Mr O’Connor told reporters in Melbourne.
“At the moment we have a participation rate of 64.6 per cent and that is the lowest the participation rate, namely eligible job seekers looking for work, has been since the global financial crisis,” Mr O’Connor said.
“So even at the time of the GFC we had more people looking for work.
“It indicates whether, in fact, people have given up looking for work because of the state of the economy and the lack of confidence in the economy, and in this government, to provide opportunities for work.”
Mr O’Connor also said youth unemployment remained a problem particularly in some regional areas where it exceeded 20 per cent.
It was also a concern the federal budget would result in many young unemployed people going without welfare support for six months, he said.
“We would say to the government that they need to do more – they need to articulate a jobs plan and particularly a jobs plan for young Australian job seekers,” Mr O’Connor said.