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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    JOINT STATEMENT
    Acting Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt
    Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
    The Honourable Grace Grace

    Businesses urged to start the New Year with employee growth in mind

    JOINT STATEMENT

    Acting Premier and Minister for the Arts
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    Minister for Employment and Industrial Relations, Minister for Racing and Minister for Multicultural Affairs
    The Honourable Grace Grace

    Thursday, December 22, 2016

    Businesses urged to start the New Year with employee growth in mind

    Acting Premier and Treasurer Curtis Pitt says today’s regional and youth unemployment figures show the need for the type of job-creation projects being delivered under the Palaszczuk Government’s economic plan.

    Visiting Mackay and Rockhampton where he and Employment Minister Grace Grace are encouraging employers to embrace the government’s Back to Work Scheme, Mr Pitt urged Queensland regional businesses to take the opportunity to include hiring a new employee on their New Year’s resolution list.

    Mr Pitt said the time was never better for businesses in Queensland’s regions to consider taking on unemployed locals through the State Government’s $20,000 Back to Work Youth Boost.

    Ms Grace said more than 460 employers across the state had engaged almost 900 employees since the Back to Work initiative started and a further 400 applications were being processed.

    “If you’re an employer who is thinking of hiring, get in touch with our local Back to Work team and put yourself in line for a support payment of up to $20,000,” Ms Grace said.

    “Our resolve is clear – we want to drive down regional unemployment and youth unemployment which is why this boost for regional businesses was created.”

    Data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics showed reduced unemployment rates in some regions, while other areas were not tracking as well.

    Mr Pitt said the ABS data shows there had been a slight rise of 0.1 percentage point in the youth jobless rate statewide over the past 12 months to reach 13.5 per cent; while the trend unemployment rate was down 0.1 percentage point to 5.9 per cent.

    “Getting young regional Queenslanders into work is a critical focus of the government and has led to the launch of our Youth Boost payment,” he said.

    “The Back to Work Youth Boost opened on 1 December 2016 and runs through to 28 February 2017. For every eligible jobseeker aged 15 to 24 years old that a regional business hires during the Youth Boost program, the government will double the existing $10,000 Back to Work employer support payment.

    “The recent Mid-Year Fiscal and Economic Review (MYFER) included a number of key announcements targeting regional employment and growth.”

    Among the new job creating programs announced were:

    • a $200 million Jobs and Regional Growth Package incorporating an additional $160 million in new funding on top of the existing $40 million Advance Queensland Industry Attraction Program, and
    • a $200 million Works for Queensland program to support local councils across the state undertaking job-creating, maintenance or minor infrastructure projects.
      Key elements of the Jobs and Regional Growth Package included:
    • $170 million for a Jobs and Regional Growth Fund — including a $130 million boost to the Industry Attraction Fund — assisting private sector projects and economic development and employment opportunities in regions with high levels of unemployment;
    • $20 million over two years for the new Made in Queensland program providing support to Queensland’s manufacturing sector to become more competitive and innovative through grants supplementing industry contributions;
    • Local Jobs First — $500,000 to establish roundtables with private sector stakeholders to identify barriers to employing local jobseekers and to identify opportunities for industry and Government to work together to improve the employability of local youth in key regional industries; and
    • $300,000 to establish a statewide Young Tourism Leaders’ Network as a forum for young people working in tourism to encourage others to choose the sector as a career path.

    Mr Pitt said the $100 million Back to Work program was on top of an incentive for businesses to employ apprentices and trainees through a payroll tax rebate.

    “For this financial year, any employer in Queensland with apprentices or trainees on staff will now be able to claim a 50% rebate,” he said.

    “The doubling of the rebate for hiring apprentices and trainees makes Queensland’s payroll tax system even more attractive.”

    Mr Pitt said today’s ABS data shows general unemployment rates fell from November 2015 to November 2016 in:

    • Cairns (down 0.2 percentage point to 8.0%)
    • Logan-Beaudesert (down 2.6ppt to 5.7%)
    • Moreton Bay North (down 0.1ppt to 6.9%)
    • Moreton Bay South (down 0.4ppt to 4.1%)
    • Darling Downs-Maranoa (down 0.4ppt to 3.4%)
    • Fitzroy (down 1.7ppt to 5.9%)
    • Mackay (down 1.9ppt to 5.9%)
    • Sunshine Coast (down 1.6ppt to 4.7%)
    • Toowoomba (down 0.5ppt to 4.7%)
    • Wide Bay (down 0.9ppt to 9.5%).

     

    Regionally the general unemployment rates rose from November 2015 to November 2016 in:

    • Gold Coast (up 0.3 percentage point to 5.6%)
    • Ipswich (up 1.5ppt to 8.3%)
    • Townsville (up 2.9ppt to 11.0%)
    • Queensland Outback (up 5.7ppt to 11.7%)
    • General unemployment rates in Brisbane’s statistical regions ranged from 3.4% in Inner City areas up to 6.1% in Brisbane’s South.

    Mr Pitt said regional youth jobless rates fell over the 12 months to November 2016 in:

    • Ipswich (down 1.1 percentage points to 13.4%);
    • Logan-Beaudesert (down 4.0ppt to 13.1%);
    • Fitzroy (down 4.2ppt to 9.8%);
    • Mackay (down 7.2ppt to 8.9%);
    • Moreton Bay South (down 0.7ppt to 10.4%);
    • Townsville (down 0.6ppt to 18.3%).

     

    Regional youth jobless rates rose over the 12 months to November 2016 in:

    • Moreton Bay North (up 2.2 percentage points to 15.9%);
    • Cairns (up 8.0ppt to 28.0%)
    • Gold Coast (up 0.1ppt to 12.9%);
    • Darling Downs-Maranoa (up 0.3ppt to 8.3%);
    • Queensland Outback (up 10.5ppt to 32.9%)
    • Sunshine Coast (up 0.8ppt to 10.6%)
    • Toowoomba (up 0.9ppt to 10.8%)
    • Wide Bay (up 3.3ppt to 24.3%)

    Youth unemployment rates in Brisbane’s statistical regions ranged from 5.6% in Inner City areas up to 18.3% in Brisbane’s East.

    Businesses can visit www.qld.gov.au/backtowork or call 13 QGOV (13 74 68) for more information about Back to Work, or to apply for an employer support payment, including the $20,000 Youth Boost payment.


    Media contact: 0447 316 432