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SA jobless rate jumps to nation's highest

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South Australia’s unemployment rate is now the nation’s highest after leaping from 6.0 per cent to 6.9 per cent in July, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics labour force figures released today.

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It’s the highest SA unemployment rate since May 2017, with the state’s seasonally adjusted jobless figure far outstripping the national average rate of 5.2 per cent, which is unchanged from June.

SA’s rate is also markedly ahead of other states, with Queensland the nearest at 6.4 per cent, followed by Tasmania on 6.0, Western Australia on 5.9 per cent, Victoria on 4.8 per cent and New South Wales with 4.4 per cent.

The state’s trend unemployment rate is now 6.3 per cent, up from 6.2 per cent in June.

The participation rate, measuring those in or actively looking for work, also climbed slightly by 0.4 points, to 63.6 per cent.

Nationally, there were 41,100 more jobs in July, with full-time employment increasing by 34,500, while another 6,700 found part-time work.

Another 800 people joined the jobless ranks, now numbering 712,900, while both the trend and seasonally adjusted underemployment rates sat at 8.4 per cent.

Australia’s youth unemployment rate remained steady at 12.0%, which  was an 0.7% increase since July 2018. 

Opposition treasury spokesman Stephen Mullighan said the Marshall Government had promised more jobs, but more than 13,000 people had lost jobs since the March 2018 state election.

The Marshall Liberal Government’s budget has clearly been a disaster for the state’s economy,” Mullighan said.

“After smashing household confidence with record increases in fees and charges, business is now concerned about uncertainty surrounding land tax changes.

“Steven Marshall promised more jobs, yet South Australia now has the highest unemployment rate in the nation.”

Treasurer Rob Lucas said a record 856,300 people were employed in SA in July – a 1.6 per cent annual increase – with 15,700 jobs created since the state election.

“The headline figure for July is obviously disappointing and, although the trend data is more stable, it reinforces the importance of the Governments long-term economic reform agenda to drive positive jobs growth,’’ he said.

That’s why we’re forging ahead with our sound economic policies, including payroll tax cuts, millions in land tax and ESL bill reductions and a significant $11.9 billion infrastructure program creating a pipeline of jobs.

The job impact of the $90 billion in defence industry related work will also start to be felt by the end of the year.

Recent independent surveys show SA business confidence remains strong, and we welcome news today of a $150 million to $180 million investment by one of the worlds largest wine companies, Treasury Wine Estates, into one of its Barossa sites, which augurs well for local jobs.”

Lucas also said that tourism data released today showed the SA industry now employed a record 38,900 people, up four per cent from last year.

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