WorkChoices not 'creator' of jobs, says Costello

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WorkChoices not 'creator' of jobs, says Costello

Treasurer Peter Costello has contradicted Government claims that WorkChoices has created more than 200,000 job this year, saying merely that the new IR laws had not 'interrupted the creation of jobs'.

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Treasurer Peter Costello has contradicted Government claims that WorkChoices has created more than 200,000 job this year, saying merely that the new IR laws had not 'interrupted the creation of jobs'.

Workplace Relations Minister Kevin Andrews told the Queensland Liberal Party State Convention in Brisbane on Monday that more than 205,000 new jobs were created in Australia in the first six months of WorkChoices,

'So WorkChoices is working,' Andrews said. 'It's working for workers and their families and it's working for the nation. A thousand new jobs created a day in Australia since 27 March [when the WorkChoices legislation came into operation].'

At a press conference yesterday Costello said 245,000 new jobs were created in Australia this year.

'I am not saying that all were created because of WorkChoices but it is clear that WorkChoices didn't interrupt the creation of jobs,' he said. 'Jobs are created in a growing economy, and more jobs are created in a growing economy when you have a better industrial relations system.'

Split over WorkChoices

The Australian newspaper reports today that further cracks are appearing in the Victorian Coalition parties over the unpopularity of WorkChoices amongst voters.

Victorian Nationals MP Peter Hall distanced himself from the Victorian Liberal's support of WorkChoices in an interview with the Australian Education Union journal, saying: 'I think the new IR laws are a worry. I can understand teachers being nervous.'

Liberal Leader Ted Baillieu has backed WorkChoices in the run up to the Victorian State election on 25 November.

At his press conference Costello said in October unemployment in Australia fell to 4.6%, 'a rate which we haven't seen in this country for over 30 years'.

'The way in which the unemployment rate fell was that jobs eased off, but unemployment fell as well,' he said.

Jobs eased off

'Jobs eased off in the month by 32,100, the number of unemployed fell by 16,200.'

Costello said there had never been a better opportunity for people to get a job in the last 30 years.

However the Shadow Minister for Employment Senator Penny Wong said that while the drop in the official unemployment rate is welcome, there were 'a range of important things the labour force figures don't tell you'.

She said five examples were:

  • 600,000 Australians are working part-time but want more work than they can get (Source: ABS)
  • 1,200,000 Australians want to work but don't show up in the monthly figures (Source: ABS)
  • Long term welfare dependency is out of control under the Howard Government, with 238,968 people on the unemployment benefit for over two years - 100,000 more than 10 years ago (Source: DEWR/FACS)
  • Over 121,000 Australians have been stuck on the dole for the past five years - another significant increase (Source: DEWR)
  • The number of people on working age payments has been stagnant under the Howard Government, with 2.05 million people receiving working age payments, just 100,000 fewer than ten years ago (Source: DEWR/FACS)

'What the figures do reveal is that nearly one in five teenagers is unemployed,' she said.

Young miss out

'This comes on top of a new report by the Dusseldorp Skills Forum, showing that 330,000 young Australians have missed out on full time work this year.'

'This report, How Young People are Faring 2006, finds that while the number of full time jobs for older Australians has risen since 1995 the number of jobs for teenagers fell by 14,000, and by 52,000 for young adults.'

Related

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