ON THE RISE: Unemployment figures for the Wide Bay region show an increase from 8.7% in May 2014 to 11.4% last month.
ON THE RISE: Unemployment figures for the Wide Bay region show an increase from 8.7% in May 2014 to 11.4% last month. Mike Knott BUNCENTRE

Bundaberg unemployment getting worse

THE Bundaberg region has the state's highest youth unemployment rate and it's getting worse.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data released yesterday shows 21.6% of young people living in the Wide Bay catchment are jobless.

The percentage rose from 20.6% in April to 21.6% in May.

Cairns is the only other Queensland region with a youth unemployment rate above 20%.

It has 21.5% of its young people looking for work.

Wide Bay's overall unemployment rate rose from 8.7% in May 2014 to 11.4% last month.

About 101,100 residents are working compared to 108,400 in the same period last year.

The number of unemployed people was 13,000 - an increase of 2700 over the 12 months.

The region's jobless rate is well above the national average of 6%.

Bundaberg MP Leanne Donaldson pleaded with the Federal Government to help reverse the region's shocking youth jobless rate.

"We can't have a situation where our Federal Government turns their back on the region and tries to bully us into asset sales instead of funding vital infrastructure," Ms Donaldson said.

She said the looming Bundaberg gas pipeline would help create jobs.

"We need to get people into work early and stop cycles of unemployment before it starts," she told the NewsMail.

"Offering payroll rebates to help encourage bosses to employ apprentices and trainees is a great first step and I know local training organisations are excited about the return of Skilling Queenslanders for Work.

"We've also made a commitment to ensuring 10% of workers on major projects are apprentices and trainees."

FAST FACTS

Unemployment figures for the Wide Bay region, which covers Fraser Coast and Bundaberg:

May 2015 (change over past 12 months)

Total employed:

101,100 (down 6.8%)

Total unemployed

13,000 (up 26.8%)

Total labour force

114,100 ( down 3.9%)

Not in the labour force

123,600 (up 6.9%)

Unemployment rate (%)

11.4% (up from 8.7%)

YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT

21.6%

Source: ABS and the Queensland Government



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