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SA unemployment rate up in April

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South Australia’s unemployment rate ticked upwards in April, but the state’s performance remains ahead of Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania.

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The jobless rate, in seasonally adjusted terms, increased from 5.6 per cent in the election month of March to 5.9 per cent in April.

The more stable trend rate was unchanged at 5.9 per cent.

The increase in the unemployment rate was in virtual lock-step with an increase in the participation rate – the proportion of the population who are either in work or seeking a job.

South Australia experienced the largest increase in the participation rate of all states – up 0.4 percentage points to 62.8 per cent.

Nationally, the unemployment rate increased from 5.5 per cent to 5.6 per cent.

State Industry and Skills Minister David Pisoni was upbeat about the data, pointing out that of the 1300 new jobs created in April, 900 were full-time.

He said the increase in the participation rate was an indicator of “increasing confidence in the Marshall Government’s plans for the economy”.

“The State Government welcomes the increase in full-time jobs last month, but we know there is a significant amount of work to do to lower costs for businesses and further strengthen the South Australian economy by creating more jobs,” he said.

Master Builders Association CEO Ian Markos warned against complacency.

“Infrastructure investment combined with reduced taxes and red tape will help create jobs, but flat building approvals in recent months are a stark reminder that sluggish population growth will continue to keep a lid on long-term jobs and economic growth unless something is done,” he said.

“A strong building industry means a strong economy. Excessive development levies, taxes and charges and excessive planning and building requirements drive up house prices by about 40 per cent. We want the Marshall Government’s Productivity Commission to put them under the microscope to boost demand and jobs.”

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