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SA jobless rate the worst - by a large margin

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South Australia was the only state to record a decrease in employment in March with the unemployment rate rising to 7 per cent, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics data released today.

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The increase in the seasonally adjusted rate means South Australia again has the unwanted title of the worst state in Australia for employment – and by a large margin.

While the national unemployment rate remained unchanged at 5.9 per cent, South Australia’s rate jumped from 6.6 per cent in February to 7 per cent in March.

The next worst state was Western Australia with a jobless rate of 6.5 per cent. The state with the lowest rate was NSW, which recorded a below national average figure of 5.1 per cent.

The ABS said the largest increase in employment was in Queensland (up 28,800 persons), followed by New South Wales (up 23,300 persons) and Victoria (up 9,800 persons).

By contrast, the number of people employed in South Australia fell by 2000.

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The participation rate – the proportion of people in the market for a job – increased in every state, but only marginally in South Australia.

The more stable trend rate was steady for South Australia at 6.7 per cent, but this was still the worst in Australia.

South Australian employment minister Kyam Maher said “we as a state and as a country are facing some fundamental challenges with the changing face of employment and industry”.

“This is why the State Government has continued to support job creation by providing assistance to small business, investing in essential infrastructure and creating an Investment Attraction agency that actively seeks to bring internationally renowned businesses like Boeing and Babcock to South Australia,” he said in a statement.

“The unemployment rate today also further highlights how important it is for South Australia to be guaranteed our fair share of jobs from the upcoming Defence builds.”

Opposition employment spokesman Corey Wingard blamed the unemployment spike on the cost of doing business in South Australia.

“The Weatherill Government’s failed energy policies have short-circuited the South Australian economy in the process driving the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate to 7 per cent,” he said in a statement.

“The combination of sky rocketing electricity prices, punishing water prices and the massive increases in the ESL tax are killing job creation in South Australia.”

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