May 6, 2003

Hunter and north coast: 35 job seekers for every vacancy


MEDIA RELEASE: Anthony Albanese – 6 May 2003

For every job advertised on the Government’s much-vaunted Australian Job Search website in the Hunter and North Coast region there are 35 job seekers. This is the worst ratio of job seekers to vacancies in New South Wales.

An analysis of Government data reveals that there are 34,800 job seekers in the Hunter and North Coast region and only 1,007 jobs on the Job Search website – many of which are part-time.

This new analysis comes on top of the latest ANZ survey which found that in April the number of job ads in newspapers across the country had slumped 12.1% to a 9 year low.

These latest figures highlight the gloomy situation confronting those Australians who simply want to work and provide for their families.

At a time when there is simply not enough jobs to go around we have a Minister and a Government more concerned about promoting a computer system that can send SMS’s to those few job seekers fortunate enough to be able to afford a mobile phone. This is nothing short of perverse priorities.

Also at a time when job seekers need more, not less personalised assistance the Government is also closing 53% of the Job Network sites located in the Hunter and North Coast region. This translates into the loss of 80 sites between now and 1 July.

The Government has promised that nationally there will be up to 50,000 jobs advertises on the Job Search website – today there are only 31,762.

After 7 years in office the Howard Government’s employment strategies have only been able to deliver a rise in long-term unemployment. The number of people unemployed for more than 12 months is higher today than when the Howard Government was first elected to office. This is a national disgrace.

The latest analysis of vacancy numbers confirms that this situation is only likely to get worse.

Communities in this region include: Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Maitland, Port Macquarie, Coffs Harbour, Grafton, Lismore, Bryon Bay, Tweed Heads.