Unemployment at 7.9%
BRONICA Ramsay has been helping people find work in Bundaberg for years, and she reckons getting a job has never been so tough as right now.
Ms Ramsay, the job preparation facilitator for the Salvation Army’s Tom Quinn Centre, said trying to find work in the current climate was “like hitting a brick wall”.
She was commenting after figures released yesterday by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed unemployment in the Wide Bay-Burnett for the month of June had jumped to 7.9%.
This was a significant rise from the previous month, when the rate was 6.4%.
Ms Ramsay has been in the business of helping people into work for the past five years.
The Tom Quinn centre regularly sends buses around Bundaberg for clients to cold-call employers, handing them resumes and introducing themselves as potential emplyees.
But Ms Ramsay said employers were just not hiring.
“When we used to go out, I would generally come back with at least one job interview or job lead,” she said.
“Employers are full. They just don’t need people.”
For companies hiring, there are no limitations in choice.
Ken’s Plumbing Plus owner Ken Aaron said the retail position he advertised in Saturday’s NewsMail had already attracted more than 50 applicants.
“For previous positions we would probably only get around the 20 to 25 mark of people applying,” he said.
Labor Candidate for Hinkler Belinda McNeven said while the 7.9% figure may seem alarming, the region had seen far worse.
“Honestly, I believe in Hinkler we are not doing too badly,” she said.
“I was here in the ’80s when (the unemployment rate) was in the high teens.”
Federal Member for Hinkler Paul Neville said the annual view of the situation showed Wide Bay-Burnett was deteriorating.
“Labor simply doesn’t know what it’s doing when it comes to creating jobs and wealth in regional areas and the Wide Bay-Burnett is paying the price for it,” he said.
But Ms McNeven said Coalition leader Tony Abbott was proposing to cut trades training centres in high schools.
“That means over 1800 secondary schools and 1.2 million students (nationally) would miss out on the chance to start learning a trade in high school,” she said.