The Premier needs to outline when he will deliver on his promise to create 55,000 jobs a year with new figures showing Victoria’s unemployment has increased, Shadow Minister for Employment, Tim Pallas said today.
Today’s Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) jobs data for February show Victoria’s unemployment rate has increased to 5.4 per cent – up from 5.2 per cent. This is significantly higher than the national rate of 5.2 per cent.
The data shows that 8200 more Victorians joined the unemployment queue and there are now 12,600 less jobs across the State.
Victoria’s participation rate has dropped to 64.8 per cent, compared to the national participation rate of 65.2 per cent.
Victoria’s youth unemployment rate rose from 20.6 per cent to 23.1 per cent.
The figures follow reports that major Victorian companies such as Qantas, Alcoa and the finance sector could shed thousands of jobs in coming months.
“More and more Victorians are losing their jobs but so far the Premier has been either too weak or too lazy to develop a plan that will keep people in work,” Mr Pallas said.
“Mr Baillieu needs to take notice of these figures and outline what he will do to create and secure jobs and attract investment to the state.
“Without a jobs plan, we will see more jobs disappear across the State.
“The Premier needs to understand that behind these statistics are real people who are losing their jobs.”
In State Parliament last year, Treasurer Kim Wells said under his Government “between 50,000 and 55,000 jobs” a year would be created.
“Instead of working to create these jobs, this Government is watching on as jobs are lost,” Mr Pallas said.
“More than 18,000 Victorians have joined the unemployment queue under Mr Baillieu’s watch.
“There are ways the Baillieu Government can strengthen Victoria’s economy, through initiatives such as cuts to payroll tax and WorkCover premiums.
“A strong economy doesn’t happen by accident – it’s time the Baillieu Government delivered a jobs plan.”