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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    Unemployment rate stays stable in January

    Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    Thursday, February 16, 2017

    Unemployment rate stays stable in January

    Queensland’s trend unemployment rate remained steady in January with ABS data showing a net 34,300 jobs created since the election of the Palaszczuk Government — an encouraging result in the context of challenging global and domestic economic conditions. 

    The data also shows a possible emerging stabilisation of the state’s labour market participation rate. 

    Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment, Curtis Pitt, said job-creation remained the Palaszczuk Government’s central focus. 

    “The latest figures show our trend unemployment rate stable at 6.1 per cent in January after the ABS revised the December 2016 rate to 6.1 per cent,” Mr Pitt said. 

    “On the more volatile seasonally adjusted measure, the unemployment rate increased from 6.2 per cent in December to 6.3 per cent in January. 

    “The figures show a net 34,300 jobs have been created in Queensland since the state election in January 2015. 

    “The 6.1 per cent trend rate for January is 0.5 per cent lower than the rate Tim Nicholls left behind after failing to lift a finger to generate jobs. 

    “As Campbell Newman’s Treasurer he inherited a trend rate from Labor of 5.5 per cent, promised a 4 per cent rate over six years, but was too lazy to try and dismissed the LNP’s commitment as ‘a stretch target’.

    “The trend unemployment rate ended up hitting a peak of 6.7% for four months to the end of 2014 and Labor inherited from Tim Nicholls a rate of 6.6%.”

    Mr Pitt said ABS figures suggested a possible stablisation in the labour force participation rate — a change from 64 per cent trend in December to 64.1 per cent in January,” he said. 

    “Hopefully we may see the rate not only stablise but rise in future months,” he said. 

    Mr Pitt said job creation remained central to the government’s economic plan and just this month he and the Premier had launched the $130 million Jobs and Regional Growth Fund to boost regional economies and jobs. 

    “The Jobs and Regional Growth Fund will support private sector projects that create jobs and economic growth opportunities in regional areas outside SEQ,” he said. 

    “The fund can offer assistance ranging from $100,000 to over $10 million in either direct grants or relief of State charges such as payroll tax or stamp duty.

    “We have also started rolling out Works for Queensland program — a $200 million program targeted at local councils in regional areas with high jobless rates and with capital works or maintenance projects ready to start.

    “Our regions are major contributors to our State and national economic performance and this Government supports the development of a diverse economy,” Mr Pitt said.

    Employment Minister Grace Grace said the government’s $100 million Back to Work regional jobs program was supporting thousands of jobs.

    “A total of 739 regional Queensland employers have taken advantage of this program to hire a worker, the majority being small and medium sized businesses,” she said

    “To date, 1,609 workers have been hired thanks to program, including 231 people aged 15-24 hired under the $20,000 Youth Boost.

    “There are also 415 applications being processed, including 229 for the Youth Boost.

    “Should these applications be successful, it will mean that more than 2,000 Queensland jobseekers are now back to work thanks to this program.”

    Media contacts:

    Treasure rand Minister for Trade and Investment 0447 316 432 / 0419 945 546

    Minister for Employment: 0427 919 548