JOB LOSS: Opposition employment spokesman Jarrod Bleijie says 900 young people have lost their jobs in the Wide Bay region since Labor was elected.
JOB LOSS: Opposition employment spokesman Jarrod Bleijie says 900 young people have lost their jobs in the Wide Bay region since Labor was elected. Patrick Woods

Nearly one in four youths jobless in the Wide Bay

WIDE BAY youth unemployment has hit 23.5% with young jobseekers continuing to find it difficult to find work in the region.

Opposition employment spokesman Jarrod Bleijie said 800 young people had lost their jobs in the region in the last year, with a total of 900 youth jobs lost since the 2015 state election.

"Youth unemployment in Wide Bay has now reached a staggering 23.5%, which is up 2.5% in the past 12 months under Labor and the second worst rate in Queensland," Mr Bleijie said.

"Clearly, Labor's so-called jobs budget is nothing more than a con job from a government that is anti-investment and anti-business.

"Now, many young Queenslanders are losing hope of ever finding work."

But Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson said the government was working hard to curb unemployment in regional areas.

"The Queensland Government's Back to Work Regional Employment Package - Back to Work - is continuing to deliver positive employment outcomes for employers and jobseekers in our region," she said.

"As at July 27 this year, 670 Wide Bay jobseekers have been employed through the youth boost component of the program.

"The youth boost specifically applies to young workers aged between 15 and 24 years.

"Because of this success, the government also allocated an extra $50 million to the existing Back to Work program to continue this fantastic program in regional Queensland."

Ms Donaldson said Mr Bleijie's claim that 200 people had left the program showed he was grasping at straws in an attempt to discredit a successful program.

"Even if you accept Mr Bleijie's rounding error - the exact figure is 148 - this is an employee turnover of only 200 out of over 6000 jobseekers who are back in work. That's only 2.8% of participants," she said.



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