The unemployment rate was 6.5% in January this year, and reached a low of 4.7% in March.
The unemployment rate was 6.5% in January this year, and reached a low of 4.7% in March.

Jobless rate halved in months

UNEMPLOYMENT has almost halved to 5.3% since September this year, but it could be too soon to celebrate, according to member for Hinkler Paul Neville.

Despite November showing the third consecutive monthly drop since September's high of 12.3% unemployment, Mr Neville said the figures were still far too high.

"Monthly figures are traditionally lower in November, but I feel the upward trend in unemployment over recent years is far from over," Mr Neville said.

"Since the start of the year the unemployment figures for the region have bounced around a lot, but they are still higher than at the time the Coalition left government in November 2007.

"At that time the Wide Bay Burnett's unemployment rate was 3.5% and that's the sort of level I want to see them return to for the sake of everyone living in the region."

The unemployment rate was 6.5% in January this year, and reached a low of 4.7% in March.

Mr Neville said while the region appeared to be making headway, the real test would come when jobless rates were revealed for December, January and February - after the Christmas rush.

"I'm also advised that the labour force has stagnated over the past 12 months, largely because some people have dropped out of looking for work altogether," Mr Neville said.

"So the economic climate is still extraordinarily difficult for small business and industry and it is vital that government at all levels promote economic growth in regional communities."



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