CENTRELINK CHANGES: Hervey Bay's Centrelink office is familiar ground for Newstart recipients.
CENTRELINK CHANGES: Hervey Bay's Centrelink office is familiar ground for Newstart recipients. Cody Fox

DOLE DROP: Bay Newstart numbers plunge as job rates rise

HERVEY Bay is leading the state's Newstart drop-off rate, new data reveals.

With pressure mounting on the Federal Government to increase the Newstart rate, the data shows 7300 fewer Queenslanders relied on the job-seeker payments in the past year.

Hervey Bay recorded one of the largest falls, with Newstart dependency dropping by 10 per cent.

It comes as the Fraser Coast records its lowest unemployment rate in seven years.

The largest drop in Queensland's Newstart payments was in the Brisbane suburbs of Middle Park and Mount Ommaney, with a 13 per cent reduction in the past year.

This figure also included people on Youth Allowance, the payment for job-seekers under the age of 25.

The release of the data came just weeks after The Sunday Mail revealed the National Party had defied Prime Minister Scott Morrison by conducting modelling into Newstart over concerns regional Australians were struggling to find work.

On the Fraser Coast, the Hervey Bay result comes as more good news as the region's jobless rate hits a seven-year low.

Figures published by the Federal Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business in June showed the rate dropped to 8.7 per cent for the March 2019 quarter - down from 9.3 per cent in December 2018.

It is the lowest the region's jobless rate has been since September 2012, when it hit 8 per cent.

It peaked at 12.5 per cent in June 2015.

Fraser Coast mayor George Seymour said while unemployment was still too high, it was good to see it moving in the right direction.

He said the council continued to work with other levels of government, businesses and the community to create and support jobs in the region.



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