JOBS CRISIS: 61 weeks searching for work
LIFE in Hervey Bay is everything Lynette Bock dreamed of except there's one problem: she can't get a job.
Despite an extensive work history which includes 20 years as a remedial masseuse, and administrative roles with law firms, she has been only been able to secure casual, temporary work.
So far her job hunt for a permanent part-time or full-time role has lasted 20 months.
The statistics aren't in her favour.
Shock figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show job-seekers in the Wide Bay spend, on average, 61 weeks looking for work before they are successful.
"It was my dream to live by the beach, and being an optimist, I thought I would find a job when I moved here," Ms Bock said.
"I've come here envisioning a wonderful future but to get a job, it has been a different kettle of fish.
"I sold everything to come here, I can't afford to not work."
She said the 61 week calculation came as no surprise to her, despite other areas in the country of similar size having a much quicker turn-around.
"We are three hours from a capital city but we may as well be in the middle of nowhere," she said.
"There's just not many jobs to choose from.
"I think it's harder in my age bracket too as they may think I'm too old, but I'm not."
Ms Bock said her time out of work had taken a toll on her self esteem and put her into a vulnerable position.
Her visits to job agency Sarina Russo have shown however that she is not alone in struggling in a tough job market.
She checks job advertisements every morning, sends her resumes wherever she's a good fit and hopes her turn will come soon.
Ideally, she would love a position in administration where she can utilise her passion for helping people.
Ms Bock can be contacted on 0400661020.