Thursday, February 18, 2016

Rising Unemployment

Unemployment is back up to 6 per cent, off the back of a decrease in full time employment of over 40,000. The number of unemployed is over 760,000.

This number is way too high. This lingering and even rising unemployment number is a recipe for long-term unemployment, which in turn is a recipe for social disadvantage and the drugs, crime, homelessness and mental health problems that go with it. It is particularly not good enough when you realise that the developed countries that we did so much better than during the Global Financial Crisis have now improved and many of their jobless rates are lower than ours.

We are still running migrant worker programs as if the mining boom was in full swing, but it is not. It is high time we reduced those programs and gave our unemployed - our young people, our indigenous unemployed, and our older workers who have been thrown on the scrap heap prematurely – a decent chance to do the jobs that do become available.

If Australian workers lack the skills to do these jobs, this needs to be rectified, and our education and vocational training programs made to effectively prepare them for the world of work.

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