Both Centrelink and Medicare services will be located a new look Maroochydore Service Centre from Monday 18 May.
Both Centrelink and Medicare services will be located a new look Maroochydore Service Centre from Monday 18 May.

Unemployment at highest rate in decade

AUSTRALIA'S unemployment rate has risen from 6% to 6.1% - the highest in more than a decade.

Economists were scathing of the Australian Bureau of Statistics after it was forced to admit this week it had botched the past two months worth of job figures, with several saying it would be months before the figures could again be trusted.

The ABS has since dumped its seasonal adjustment process and announced an inquiry into why it had produced the bizarre results.

Instead it will publish unadjusted, original jobs figures until further notice and revise its estimates for July and August.

Employment Minister Eric Abetz said on Thursday the figures once again demonstrated the need for the Senate to support government measures to create more job opportunities in the face of continuing labour market challenges.

"The government is focused on creating an economic environment where more job opportunities are being created for all Australians but we need to ensure that our positive policy agenda advances as quickly as possible through the Senate," he said.

"The unemployment figures released continue to illustrate the extent of the challenges Australia faces, especially for young Australians looking for work."

Opposition Employment Minister Brendan O'Connor said the government was more than 70,000 jobs behind on its signature election promise to create one million new jobs in five years.

"Labor welcomes the decision of the ABS to revise its seasonally adjusted series to maintain confidence in its data, but an unemployment rate with a six in front means too many people are without jobs," he said.

"Since last month there are 29,700 less people in jobs and another 11,000 people joined the jobless queues."

Federal Treasurer Joe Hockey said, from Washington, he was actively looking at a user pays system for ABS data because of the volatile figures it regularly produced.

He said he would be taking proposals to Cabinet in the coming weeks.

- APN NEWSDESK



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