February 17, 2017

Australians faced a depressing start to 2017 with 44,800 full time jobs lost in the month of January under the Turnbull Government, and still we are yet to be presented with a plan for jobs.
It’s no wonder Australians are struggling to find work. There are 56,000 fewer full time jobs since January 2016. There are fewer full time jobs now than when Malcolm Turnbull rolled Tony Abbott as Prime Minister.
Labor welcomes the modest decrease in Australia’s unemployment rate to 5.7 per cent, but notes there are still 720,000 unemployed Australians according to the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures.
While we always welcome any new jobs, we are mindful that the increase was due to 58,300 part time jobs being created.  Under the Turnbull Government, total employment growth over the last year was only 0.8 per cent, less than half the average growth rate over the past 20 years.
So much for jobs and growth.
Of particular concern, there are still in excess of one million Australians who are underemployed, who want more work but cannot find it.
A combination of Liberal Governments in both Canberra and Perth has been destructive for the state of Western Australia, which has the highest rate of unemployment in the country.
Since the 2013 election, WA has experienced an unemployment rate increase from 4.6 per cent to 6.5 per cent.
The Government’s first priority must be ensuring workers in Australia can find good local jobs and ensuring businesses are training and employing local workers.
It is clear the Prime Minister has no plan for our economy and no plan to grow workers’ pay packets. The Prime Minister’s modus operandi is to create an easy to hire, easy to fire society.
Today’s jobs numbers, along with record low wages growth, combine to paint a bleak picture for Australian workers under Malcolm Turnbull’s economic management.