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SA unemployment rate rises

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South Australia’s unemployment rate increased last month from 5.7 to 5.9 per cent, with 4700 fewer people now working than a month ago, in seasonally adjusted terms.

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Australian Bureau of Statistics labour force data for June, released today, shows SA’s jobless rate to be below that of Queensland’s 6.5 per cent, while Tasmania’s rate of 6.8 per cent was the nation’s highest.

SA was slightly above Western Australia’s 5.8 per cent, but much higher than Victoria’s 4.8 per cent and the 4.6 per cent recorded in New South Wales.

The national average jobless rate now stands at 5.2 per cent, with more than 710,000 people officially looking for work.

SA lost 4700 jobs from May to June, while NSW shed 17,400.

SA’s trend unemployment figures, considered less volatile than seasonally adjusted numbers, remained steady at 5.9 per cent from May, as did the rate of all other states except Queensland.

But SA’s seasonally adjusted participation rate, measuring the number of people actively looking for work, fell 0.2 points to 63.2 per cent.

Australia’s youth unemployment rose slightly to 12 per cent, an increase of 0.5 per cent since June last year.

Innovation and Skills Minister David Pisoni said more than 14,000 South Australians had found jobs in the year to June, of which 60 per cent were full time.

He said the state’s total employment level was the highest ever, with 857,000 people in the workforce, with the trend participation rate at its highest for eight years.

“ABS job date relating to job vacancies show that they are now 46.3 per cent higher than they were five years earlier, and nine per cent up over the year to May,” he said.

“SA now has a record high number of hours worked, with 116.6 million hours worked in June – up 2.7 million hours from a year earlier.”

Opposition Employment spokesman Tom Koutsantonis said the State Government had cut a number of job-creation programs and there were more unemployed South Australians now than before it took office.

“The Marshall Liberal Government’s economic strategies are failing,” he said.

“Before the election the Liberals promised more jobs; instead we have more people without jobs.

“South Australia continues to lag behind the national trend.”

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