Residents line-up at Centrelink Mackay during coronavirus crisis.
Residents line-up at Centrelink Mackay during coronavirus crisis.

Shock figures show number of Mackay’s long-term unemployed

NEW data has revealed there are more than 1100 long-term jobseekers in the Mackay Isaac Whitsunday region.

According to Australian Bureau of Statistics figures, there were 1141 long-term unemployed people in Mackay Isaac Whitsunday as of May 2020.

This represented a 294 per cent jump when compared to the region's 289 long-term jobseekers recorded in January 2015.

The total number of long-term unemployed people in Queensland has risen 24.9 per cent to 43,853 in May 2020, when compared to figures from January 2015.

Greater Whitsunday Alliance chief executive Kylie Porter said the standard definition for long-term unemployment was people who had been out of work for a year or more.

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She described long-term unemployment as a "systemic problem" as opposed to job losses caused by the COVID-19 crisis.

Ms Porter said it was important to understand which sections of the community made up the region's long-term jobseekers.

Greater Whitsunday Alliance chief executive Kylie Porter.
Greater Whitsunday Alliance chief executive Kylie Porter.

"It's about taking a holistic approach to find solutions around our long-term unemployment problem," she said.

"Skills and training is one key area where, as a region, we are very proactive in making sure we have good skills and training for young people."

Ms Porter said social issues needed to be considered as well.

"Do we have some people who are unemployed because they don't have access to a car and because our public transport system is not overly developed?" she said.

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