Jobless rate drops again but work still needed
AUSTRALIAN Government unemployment figures show a 2.4 per cent drop in the number of unemployed people on the Fraser Coast in 12 months but the rate is still above the state and national average.
The latest release of unemployment figures by the Department of Employment from June 2019 show from a workforce on the Fraser Coast of about 40,000 people there was 8.3 per cent or 3300 people unemployed.
This compares to a rate of 10.7 per cent or 4300 people unemployed a year before in June 2018.
The rate is the lowest it has been since June 2015 when it was 12.5 per cent.
But it is well above the national unemployment rate of 5.1 per cent and the Queensland unemployment rate of 6.1 per cent.
Fraser Coast Regional Mayor George Seymour said the rate was heading in the right direction but was still too high.
“There is always more work to be done in attracting and supporting businesses to employ people here in our community,” he said.
“I see a lot of really good signs for the local economy and employment.
“Last week’s major announcement by the State Government at Downer, the Nioa Rheinhmetall munitions factory and the Astro Aero aeroplane factory will all help secure jobs and create jobs here on the Fraser Coast.”
Maryborough Chamber of Commerce president Michelle Collins said the drop in the unemployment rate was an indication of the growing faith in business in the region.
“There’s a lot of promise there in terms of some of the opportunities on the horizon with industries coming into the region and setting up business,” she said.
“Developers are looking at the region with new eyes.”
Ms Collins said the arrival of new industries in health care and the munitions factory would both provide employment opportunities and be important in attracting other business to the region.
Hervey Bay Chamber of Commerce president Sandra Holebrook said the figures were showing the results of the combined efforts of stakeholders to improve the situation.
She said the council was working hard on relocating businessed to the area and the State Government was focusing efforts on place-based employment opportunities.