Labor targets rural communities to address unemployment
EMPLOYMENT opportunities for rural communities, youth unemployment and penalty rates were dominant concerns at yesterday's jobs forum at Ipswich's Trades Hall.
Opposition employment spokesman Brendan O'Connor, who addressed the forum, said there were about 100,000 more Australians on unemployment queues since the last Federal election.
Mr O'Connor said significant employment opportunities were not being created with business and consumer confidence down over the last two years and the nation seeing the lowest wage growth in more than 20 years.
"People are receiving just the CPI or in many cases below it; their wages are actually falling," he said. "Even with wage growth very low, almost a wage recession, we are still not seeing the jobs being created."
Organised by Blair MP Shayne Neumann, the forum attracted about 40 employers, job seekers and residents.
Mr Neumann said youth unemployment in Ipswich had gone up to 14.9%, above the state figure of 13.9%.
Mr O'Connor said the Government had to act to target emerging opportunities and refocus training to suit demand.
"The technological change that is occurring around the world is leading to the fastest change to labour markets we have ever witnessed," he said. "It is technology and globalisation forcing change." He said Labor would launch a regional policy on employment with targeted assistance co-ordinated with local government.