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August 07, 2019

The Morrison Government’s attack on unemployed Australians looking for work has continued with another Minister publicly shaming vulnerable Australians.
Senator Bridget McKenzie declared the government will not “apologise” and that “Newstart is difficult to live on”.
The problem is it is not working - people either aren’t getting jobs or if they are it is taking a long time.
The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) labour force data shows the Government’s abysmal track record of getting people off Newstart and into work.
According to ABS data, the typical job seeker search time and long term unemployed search times have risen under this government.

For every one job vacancy, there are 3 unemployed people.

The typical job search time in Australia is nearly 4 months at 15.6 weeks*.  This length of time has been increasing to almost an extra month on average since the Liberals were elected in 2013.
The average search time for long term unemployed, that is people unemployed greater than 52 weeks, is 112.8 weeks*.
The Government hasn’t lived up to its rhetoric on getting people off Newstart and into work.

Perhaps instead of publicly shaming people with new media stories week after week the Morrison Government should address the problems inherent in the labour market and the employment services system it oversees.

Everyone other than this Government knows the current labour market system must work better, connecting unemployed Australians with decent, stable jobs.

Labor believes in mutual obligation arrangements for jobseekers, but that means the Government has an obligation to ensure that the job active service is value for money.

Rather than simply attacking people struggling to get work in order to distract from their own internal division, the Government should help people to get decent, secure work.
*June to June average, ABS Labour Force Data