One year on and 5000 Mackay jobs hit the chopping block

ABOUT 5000 Mackay residents lost their jobs in the past 12 months.

The region's unemployment rate rose 2.8 percentage points to 7.1% between May 2014 and last month.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data released yesterday shows 96,900 residents are working compared to 101,600 in the same period last year.

The number of unemployed people was 7400 - an increase of 2900 over the 12 months.

The region's jobless rate is Queensland's seventh highest and well above the national average of 6%.

Youth unemployment is also increasing.

The percentage rose from 12.9% in April 2015 to 13.2% last month.



  MAY 2014 MAY 2015
Employed 101,600 96,600
Unemployed 4500 7400
Not in the labour force 35,500 39,600

Source: ABS; Qld Government.


Mackay MP Julieanne Gilbert said the region was reeling as the mining boom lost its lustre.

"A lot of the rise is attributed to the re-adjustment in the mining industry where the construction side has stopped and the straight-out mining has kicked in," she said.

"Also, over the past three years the (former) State Government did not invest in infrastructure development in Mackay so we haven't got ongoing construction happening here."

Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the youth unemployment "remained unacceptably high".

"We're completely focused on economic growth, job creation and providing Queenslanders with employment opportunities," he said.

"We're investing $240 million to support up to 32,000 Queenslanders back into a job through our Skilling Queenslanders For Work initiative.

"Applications for funding are now open for this initiative, which has a proven track record of generating jobs, particularly for the young and long-term unemployed."

Opposition leader Lawrence Springborg said the State Government was not moving fast enough.

Mr Springborg said Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk needed to move her infrastructure investment plan forward.

The plan is slated to be revealed in February.

"It's ironic that at a time that we've got a federal government which is pro-business providing positive tax advantages for small businesses we've got a Queensland government that is completely clueless and making it up as they go," he said.

"We're yet to see anything that even resembles a pre-gestational plan from this government; they're saying they won't even have a plan until next year - that's not good."

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This poll ended on 29 June 2015.

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