Three years, over 1000 job applications and still no job

MICHELLE Solomon has been painstakingly filling out at least 10 job applications a week for the past three years, only for those applications to disappear in to the ether.

The 42-year-old Hervey Bay mum has been in the job market for three years, after suffering a stroke about five years ago when she was only 38.

In those three years, Michelle has managed to land just three job interviews.

Unfortunately Michelle's story is not unique on the Fraser Coast.

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics unemployment figures show the Wide Bay as the region with the highest rate of unemployment in the country - a whopping 10.5%.

The three month average however does show a 2.4% drop in unemployment for the region with the three month average sitting at 8.5%.

The fruitlessness has frustrated Michelle, who previously worked in retail.

She has one thing she would like to say to potential employers.

"Don't give up on the ones who haven't been out there for awhile - we are often the most grateful and enthusiastic."

While jobseekers like Michelle are becoming increasingly frustrated with the search, politicians continue to discuss ways to improve the employment rate.

Deputy Prime Minister and Member for Wide Bay Warren Truss said creating and sustaining local jobs was a "high priority" for him.

"We are working to ensure that the benefits of our growing economy are shared amongst all regions so that more people have the opportunity to participate in work," Mr Truss said.

A statement from Mr Truss listed 11 different initiatives the Federal Government was investing in to help people find jobs as well a number of infrastructure projects funded to help encourage more employment in the region.

"Above all, confidence is the key to a strong economy.

"If people are confident about the future, if they shop and spend locally, the local economy will do well."

Hinkler MP Keith Pitt echoed Mr Truss' comments about a strong economy.

"That's why I'm focused on attracting investment to the region to stimulate the economy through new and exciting projects like the HMAS Tobruk Military Dive Wreck proposal," he said.

"I've launched the community campaign #bundybayandbush encouraging people to support local businesses, so they can create new jobs."

Member for Maryborough Bruce Saunders said the state government was continuing to work on increasing employment in the area.

"We are working with the Wide Bay Linen Service and we are hoping to expand to do washing for a lot of hospitals," he said.

Ms Saunders said the state government had also spoken to the Downer Group about lodging a tender to build the light rail.

"We are really working with industries to get investment in the area."

Fraser Coast regional mayor Gerard O'Connell said council would be working with key sectors including aviation and education to help attract investment in the region.

Topics:  editors picks job hunting unemployment

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