March 16, 2017

Today’s labour force figures reveal further signs of economic weakness and highlight Malcolm Turnbull’s failure to deliver on ‘jobs and growth’.
The unemployment rate has increased from 5.7 per cent to 5.9 per cent, which is the highest it has been in more than 12 months.
There were 6,400 fewer jobs last month, including a decrease of 33,500 part time jobs.
The total number of underemployed people has risen to the highest ever with more than 1.1 million Australians wanting more work but not being able to find it.
Despite the rise in full time jobs, which is welcome, it remains the case there have been 23,000 full time jobs lost in the past 12 months.
The number of hours worked decreased by 20 million, which compounded with the rise in unemployment and underemployment is a worrying sign.
Alarmingly, the youth unemployment rate has hiked by a full percentage point to 13.3 per cent.
These are not good numbers for the country and they are a damning indictment on Malcolm Turnbull’s lack of leadership and policies, particularly given he campaigned on “jobs and growth”.
These numbers are compounded by Malcolm Turnbull’s “support” of the decision to cut penalty rates, ensuring nearly 700,000 workers will be up to $77 per week out of pocket.
Under Malcolm Turnbull people will be working more hours for less money. You do not cut wages to create jobs.
Labor believes in a system that provides a strong safety net, creates jobs, drives productivity and delivers a strong economic future.
Our plan for jobs involves –
 Investing in skills and making TAFE the cornerstone of our vocational education system;
 Making sure one in 10 workers on major Commonwealth-funded infrastructure projects are apprentices;
 Closing the 457 visa loopholes so Australian workers have the first shot at local jobs; and
 Protecting penalty rates.
We want to build Australian, buy Australian, employ Australian.
Malcolm Turnbull doesn’t know what he wants other than to rip money out of the pockets of hard working Australians and line the pockets of big business with a massive tax cut.