Bill's Media Releases

Australia’s unemployment rate remains low with more jobs created in July

Labour force figures released today by the ABS show that despite the ongoing difficulties in the global economy, employment grew in July with an additional 14,000 jobs created.

 Encouragingly, the increase in employment was largely driven by full-time employment, which rose by 9,200 in July 2012. Part-time employment also increased by 4,800.

 Australia’s unemployment rate fell marginally to 5.2 per cent in July from a revised figure for June of 5.3 per cent. Australia’s low unemployment rate stands in stark contrast to the stubbornly high rate of 8.3 per cent recorded in the US and 11.2 per cent in the euro area.

 The number of people looking for work in Australia also fell in July, by more than 2,500, while the labour force participation rate stood at 65.2 per cent.

 The Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations, Bill Shorten, welcomed today’s positive result. “Today’s figures highlight that more than 810,000 jobs had been created since the Labor Government came to office in November 2007, a gold medal winning performance, given that millions of jobs have been shed worldwide over the same period,” Minister Shorten said.

 “These figures show the Australian jobs market is hanging in there.”

 While challenges for the Australian economy and labour market remain, we nonetheless have the best combination of solid growth, low unemployment, healthy consumption, contained inflation and a record pipeline of investment – which all Australians should be proud of.

 Of course the Government remains acutely aware that job losses are occurring in some sectors of our patchwork economy and that some Australian businesses and families are under significant pressure.  We will never let complacency creep in for a moment.

 “That is why the Gillard Government announced the ‘Benefits of the Boom’ package, which is helping to ease the cost of living pressures for many families, while also assisting businesses struggling in the retail, manufacturing and other sectors due to the high Australian dollar and other structural changes underway.”

“In addition, the Government will continue with the critical reforms that have made our labour market the envy of the industrialised world, and will continue to get on with the job of building an even stronger domestic economy that delivers for all Australians,” Mr Shorten said.

“Another key challenge will be to build the nation’s human capital to help boost productivity, so that workers will have access to the job opportunities that will emerge as our labour market strengthens.”

The Government is therefore investing $15.6 billion in the vocational education and training sector over the next four years as well as $3 billion over six years for the Building Australia’s Future Workforce initiative (BAFW), one of the largest training and workforce participation packages in the nation’s history, to ensure that Australians have the skills they need for the job opportunities that will emerge in the new economy.

 Mr Shorten’s media contact: Sam Casey 0421 697 660