Guest speaker Senator Eric Abetz at Staff Solutions. Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily
Guest speaker Senator Eric Abetz at Staff Solutions. Photo: John McCutcheon / Sunshine Coast Daily john mccutcheon

Politicians act to make the most of labour force figures

IN THE race to make mileage out of labour force figures released on Wednesday, politicians on all sides could have gone cross-country.

The national unemployment rate fell from 6% to 5.8% seasonally adjusted, with Queensland and New South Wales topping the country for jobs created.

Employment Minister Eric Abetz gave his government only gentle praise, saying the numbers were "encouraging" but should be treated cautiously.

Opposition equivalent Brendan O'Connor in turn returned some soft jibes.

He "welcomes" the lower unemployment rate but warns the jobs to be lost from Australia's automotive industry are yet to be crunched by the ABS grinder. In Queensland the swordplay was more fierce.

With both seasonally adjusted and trend figures showing an unemployment rate of 6.1%, Treasurer Tim Nicholls crowed that his state created more roles than any other since March 2013.

"Today's strong result again shows the Newman Government's plan to grow a four-pillar economic, after years of neglect by Labour, is working," he said.

Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt attempted to parry then attack, accusing the LNP Government of straying from its election promise of dragging unemployment down to 4%.

"Unemployment has now been above 6% for three straight months - back to levels not seen since the Global Financial Crisis," Mr Pitt said.

NSW created the most new jobs in the past month - 16,300 compared to Queensland's 12,000 seasonally adjusted - and treasurer Mike Baird was in the mood for celebration.

"NSW is back at the top of the leader board, creating the most jobs in the country last month," he said.

While Queensland was excited about its 12-month total, the NSW Government was counting the days since it took office.

"NSW also continues to outperform all the states with the highest number of jobs created in the nation since the NSW Liberals and Nationals came to office, with 127,000 additional jobs."

Expect everyone back at their starting lines in four weeks' time.


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