Jobless figures worst across WA and QLD

Diane Smith-Gander was recognised for her service to business, women’s engagement in executive roles and gender equality.
Diane Smith-Gander was recognised for her service to business, women’s engagement in executive roles and gender equality.

THE worst unemployment rates in the nation in the month before the federal election were largely in areas of Western Australia and Queensland, new figures have revealed.

CommSec’s analysis of ABS Labour Force data showed more than a quarter of 87 regions across the nation had an unemployment rate of 6.0 per cent or above during April – well above the 5.2 per cent national figure – while two thirds of regions had a jobs rate below their 10 -year average.

CommSec analysts on Tuesday said a widely tipped June cut to the cash rate would not be enough to improve the situation on its own, and urged governments to focus on infrastructure spending and population policies to boost jobs.

“Rate cuts can only do so much in stimulating the economy and getting the jobless rate down,” CommSec’s chief economists said in a note.

Unemployment rates across most of Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra came in well under the national figure but Outback WA and three regions of Perth registered between 6.7 and 7.1 per cent.

North east and south east Perth and WA’s Outback were also in the worst five performing jobs markets over the past 12 months.

CommSec said it was in the regions that the nation had to boost its jobs performance.

“The Reserve Bank governor said (in May) that we can do better on unemployment and shouldn’t be satisfied with a jobless rate near 5.0 per cent,” CommSec said in a release.

“When he made that statement he wasn’t really thinking about Sydney and Melbourne.”