Hundreds more out of work as jobless rate rises
HUNDREDS more people are out of work in the Wide Bay-Burnett region, with the unemployment rate rising 1.5% in the last month.
The latest job loss figures for November show the unemployment rate is now 8.8% in the region, compared to 7.3% in October.
That is much higher than the national unemployment rate of 5.2%.
The latest unemployment rate is 3.5% greater than this time last year.
Member for Hinkler Paul Neville said the figures were alarming.
"Quite often as we approach Christmas the figure falls, but this time it has risen," he said.
Mr Neville said it was the worst result since March this year.
"I sincerely hope it won't be repeated in January and February when we see lots of young people coming into the workforce," he said.
He said it was even more bewildering that the unemployment figure occurred in a record sugar cane crush season and at a time when summer small crops were coming into season.
The Salvation Army's Tom Quinn Community Services manager Tom Osborne said the figure was disheartening, especially at a time of year when everyone was trying to look forward to a more prosperous new year.
"Unfortunately, the real figures are of course much higher because many people have given up on the job hunt," Mr Osborne said.
"To those people I would say, don't give up.
"Retrain and keep trying, and use the employment and job preparation programs available in the region."
Mr Osborne said people should consider gaining valuable work experience through volunteering.
"We have retail outlets including our Childers and Bundaberg family stores, nursery and horticulture facilities, and of course our commercial kitchens and workshops," he said.
"We also have opportunities for people to work on their administrative, bookkeeping and other office skills.
"By working with us we are able to support you in your employability skills, plus we can act as a referee when you go for a job."