Jobless up on last year

THERE are more people out of work in Gladstone than this time last year, according to government figures.

Despite being on the brink of a so-called employment crisis and skills shortage, latest results from the Department of Employment reveal the jobless figures for

Gladstone have jumped by 25 per cent in the past year.

Figures show that currently there are more than 1600 people unemployed in Gladstone compared to 1300 last year and more than 1800 in 1998.

Gladstone Economic and Industry Development Board chief executive Dr Ken King said Gladstone was not much different from other regional centres in Queensland.

“Workers will be required across a range of sectors and award rates vary accordingly. Business and industry will determine the timing for appropriate hiring,” Dr King said.

The quarterly report shows Rockhampton’s jobless figures remain steady, but are on the rise across 60 per cent of regional Queensland.

Matt Jones from Gladstone employment agency People

Resourcing said people were definitely keeping their eye on the job market in Gladstone, but for different reasons.

“Some candidates register looking for employment, some candidates register looking at options and to ensure they know the employment market and opportunities available,” he said.

“We are already seeing a shortage of quality candidates across a variety of different positions.”

President of Gladstone Chamber of Commerce Lance Harding said high wages were a real problem in Gladstone and small businesses were going to suffer through its inability to retain skilled workers.

“The impact of this can be soul-destroying for business owners who are faced with training costs and competition, with no real loyalty built into the equation,” Mr Harding said.

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