UnionsWA has today commented on the release by the Australian Bureau of Statistics of July unemployment figures showing a significant increase in unemployment in WA. This has occurred as WA Government redundancies arising from Budget cuts begin to take effect.
Meredith Hammat, Secretary UnionsWA said:
“In July 2015 unemployment in WA increased to 6.5% up from 5.9% in June.
“There are now 94,400 unemployed people in WA.
“We face a serious problem with unemployment in WA as a result of the resources sector down-turn and the Budget mismanagement by the Barnett Government resulting in public sector redundancies.
“These cut backs to vital services such as at WorkSafe, where inspectors and other vital staff are being cut, could not come at a worse time.
“While the announcement by the Abbott Government that the naval shipbuilding program will in part be undertaken in Australia is welcome, the risk that WA will miss out is great.
“In the south western suburbs of Perth around the Kwinana industrial estate, youth unemployment is particularly high.
“Increasingly we are seeing long term unemployment rise, particularly among mature aged men.
“Governments, federal and state, need to focus on ways of growing skilled and secure jobs.
“Instead too much policy attention to going towards cutting the penalty rates and wages of low paid workers in the retail and hospitality sector.”
The ABS Labour Force July 2015 publication is available here.