Oppn questions Napthine Govt on unemployment rate

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The Napthine Government has been in power in this state for more than three years, and during that time has shown little more than a passing awareness of the jobs crisis this state has been slipping into, say members of the Opposition. Worse, the idea that they should be trying to do something about it seems distasteful to them, says a statement issued by Terri Cryans, who is with the Office of the Hon. Daniel Andrews MP, Leader of the Opposition.

As unemployment dropped across the country, Victoria’s jobless rate remains at a 10-year high, says the press statement released by the Opposition.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show another 500 Victorians became unemployed in March, bringing the total number of people who have lost their job under the Napthine Government to 51,800. 

In the former Labor government’s last term, a period which included the GFC crisis and the take-off of the resources boom in the mining states, Victoria still created more jobs than any other state or territory and comprised more than a third of total jobs growth for the nation, says the statement.

Since then, the annual jobs growth rate has shrunk by two-third and growth in full-time jobs has been hovering near zero, and the unemployment rate is well above the national average and youth unemployment is the worst on the mainland.

The opposition says the biggest companies are closing their doors and an already weakened economy is bracing for the exit of the automotive manufacturing industry.

The only response the Napthine Government had ready was to make a submission to the Productivity Commission and vainly hope that Tony Abbott would do something instead, reads the statement. And to this date Denis Napthine still hasn’t released a jobs plan.

By contrast, Labor has outlined a comprehensive vision for job creation in Victoria, which means using the capacity the State has as an investor and as the provider of public services like education and transport, to make sure there are projects, skills and infrastructure available to grow jobs and the economy.

Victorian Labor will create 10,000 jobs across Victoria and improve the efficiency of the transport system. The party says it will remove 50 of the most dangerous and congestion-building level crossings, investing in road improvements for suburbs, regional areas and freight industry.

Victorian Labor has announced that it will also make a start on Melbourne Metro Rail, the most important public transport project in a generation, with $300 million to be committed to the project in its first budget.

The party has also stated that schools and TAFEs will also be provided with resources again after years of cuts and neglect by the Coalition.

Labour force participation fell another 0.1 per cent last month, meaning another 5,400 Victorians left the workforce entirely. Since the Napthine Government came to office, Victoria’s participation rate has declined from 65.7 per cent to 64.4 per cent — representing over 150,000 people not in the job market.

Published in The Indian Sun (Indian Magazine in Melbourne)

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