Thursday, 26 September 2013 12:09

Look More Closely at Unemployment Figures, Urges WSROC

Media release, September 12, 2013

In response to the latest rise in official unemployment, President of the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils Ltd (WSROC) urged governments and policy makers to delve more deeply into the figures.

 

“The headline rise to 5.8% for last month is bad enough, but a more detailed analysis is even greater cause for concern,” said Councillor Hadchiti.

“To start with, the figures seriously underestimate the extent of hidden unemployment. Anyone who works as little as one hour a week is counted by the ABS as employed, even if they want a full time job. This has been the official measure for decades now, but let’s not forget how much worse the real situation is.”

“Secondly, the national average of 5.8% disguises the extent of the problem in Western Sydney. While some parts of Western Sydney are doing well, the average for the region is around 1.3% higher than the national average, putting our unemployment level over 7%.”

“The other alarming statistic is that youth unemployment across western Sydney averages around 18%, making it very hard for many young people to get their foot in the door of a worthwhile career. The potential social problems this creates are not hard to imagine,” said Clr Hadchiti.

The other thing about western Sydney’s employment situation is that many of the available jobs are outside the region, often meaning a long and expensive commute for western Sydney residents.

Western Sydney’s current job deficit is around 180,000, with most of those people travelling eastwards each day to the CBD, North Sydney or Macquarie Park for work. According to the State Government’s Draft Metropolitan Strategy, this job deficit will grow by another 67% or 120,000 over the next twenty years.

“Apart from the social and economic costs for this army of commuters and their families, this will put an unsustainable extra burden on our transport system,” said Clr Hadchiti.

“The other problem is the lack of job diversity in western Sydney. The region is too heavily dependent on manufacturing, retail and construction, with a real shortage of tertiary level professional services jobs.”

“Now that the federal election is out of the way, it is time for the state and federal governments to get their heads together and give this the serious attention it deserves.”

“There is no easy solution but a raft of measures is needed. Greater focus is needed on servicing the western Sydney employment lands and supporting them with the necessary transport links. More incentives are needed for businesses thinking of relocating to western Sydney. Greater support is needed for specialist employment generators. More effort is needed to revitalise some of the commercial town centres in western Sydney and governments need to look more seriously at the decentralisation of some of their own departments and agencies.” Clr Hadchiti said.

 

 


Media Inquiries: Karin Bishop, Deputy CEO on 0417 239 539
Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC) Ltd
Suite 2 Level 1 (PO Box 63) Blacktown 2148
© 2013 WSROC Ltd; tel: 02 9671 4333; F 02 9621 7741

 

Last modified on Thursday, 26 September 2013 13:56

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