Jobseeker ranks growing across Gladstone region

YOUTH unemployment is rising across the Gladstone region.

The number of young people looking at work sits at 12.7% - an increase of 1.4 percentage points on April's figure of 11.3%.

And things are not looking good for unemployed adults with the number of people looking for work lifting from 5.8% in May 2014 to 6.1% last month.

According to Australian Bureau of Statistics data released on Thursday, 116,600 Fitzroy district - which covers Gladstone and Rockhampton - residents are working compared to 114,900 in the same period last year.

Despite the increase in the number of people working, the unemployment rate rose because the number of people joining the workforce rose faster than the number of jobs did. There were 2300 more people in work or looking for work than a year ago.

About 7600 people are unemployed - an increase of 500 over the past 12 months.

The region's jobless rate is slightly higher than the national average of 6%.

Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher called on Prime Minister Tony Abbott to help the region transition as the gloss comes off the mining boom. "We still need the Federal Government to support this region," Mr Butcher said.

"Gladstone is an economic gateway for Queensland and we can't be left behind by Tony Abbott because he's trying to bully us into selling assets."

Mr Butcher said the State Government was finding ways to keep the employment rate steady.

"We're lucky to have local organisations that train apprentices so young people can be ready for work," Mr Butcher said.

"Programs like Skilling Queenslanders for Work will help young people access training and we're offering payroll rebates to bosses who employ apprentices and trainees."

- Sherele Moody


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