Job figures improve

LATROBE Valley towns have recorded a slight dip in their jobless rates, according to the most recent data.

The Federal Government’s small area labour market figures for the March quarter, just released, showed marginal decreases in the number of people unemployed in all three of the Valley’s largest towns, compared with the previous quarter.

Compared with March 2012 quarterly data, however, Moe’s jobless rate had crept up from 7.5 per cent to 7.9 while Traralgon’s had remained steady at 4.3 per cent – over the past 12 months Traralgon’s figure has not deviated from between 4.4 and 4.3 per cent, lower than the state and national average.

Morwell’s jobless rate still sits higher than those of its neighbours, at 8.2 per cent, however that figure – while also high compared with much of the remainder of Victoria – had dropped from 8.4 one year ago and a peak of 8.6 in June 2012.

SALM data showed there were now 738 people registered for Centrelink or Newstart jobless allowances in Moe, of a total labour force of 9374.

In Morwell that number stood at 960, down from 1033 in March 2012, from a labour force of 11,713, while in Traralgon there were 754 people in receipt of unemployment payments of a 16,824-strong labour force.

Latrobe City’s overall jobless rate was 6.1 per cent, lower than it had been for more than 12 months, according to SALM data.

The slight decrease in local jobless figures was in contrast to a rise in unemployment rates recorded in about 64 per cent of Australia’s 1400 ‘statistical local areas’.

Particularly large increases were recorded, for example, in SLA’s such as Great Lakes in New South Wales (up from 3.8 per cent to 11.4 over 12 months), Devonport in Tasmania and Annerley in Brisbane.

In the March quarter 2013, 51.4 per cent of SLAs recorded an unemployment rate of less than five per cent while 10.3 per cent recorded a rate of 10 per cent or above.

Compared with the rest of Victoria, Morwell and Moe’s unemployment rates remain high, however a number of other regions face greater challenges, according to the data.

Dandenong’s jobless rate was 12.7 per cent, part of the Whittlesea SLA was 10.5 per cent, Maryborough was 11.1 per cent, Corio in Geelong was 9.9 per cent, parts of Bendigo, Benalla, Mildura and Shepparton were also more than eight per cent, Broadmeadows was 9.2 per cent and Wyndham was 9.8 per cent.

June quarter figures are not expected to be released until September.