Thursday 21 March 2019
- Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations
- Minister for Women
Subjects: ABS labour force results; Adani.
Today’s ABS labour force figures reveal that the unemployment rate now has a four in front of it, at 4.9 per cent. It has fallen to 4.9 per cent, which is the equal lowest number in more than 10 years. This is a very good and very strong outcome and it is a sign that the Coalition’s economic plan is working. There are a record number of people in employment with more than 12,700,000 people in employment today. Now, we have seen employment increase by around 280,000 over the year, and the number of people in employment at that record level is a significant statement on the health of our employment market. The number of women in employment has now reached a record high of more than 6 million and the number of women in full-time employment is also at a record high. More than 1.2 million jobs have been created since the Coalition came to office. Again, this is a sign that the Coalition’s economic plan is working and it is also an indicator and a reminder that Bill Shorten’s plan to impose more than $200 billion of new or increased taxes on individuals, whether it be on their incomes, on their superannuation savings, on their retirement or on their businesses, and will prove to be a wrecker for our economy if that should ever come to pass and will have a very direct impact on people’s employment and confidence to be employed.
Part of the reason for that drop is the drop in participation rate, does that concern you at all?
Well the participation rate is at near record highs, at more than 65.5 per cent. I think the high was 65.8 per cent. So it is at near record highs and as I said, we have got a record number of people in employment today, a record number of women in employment, in fact, we have seen a huge increase in employment during the time that the Coalition has been in Government and we have seen the unemployment rate now fall to 4.9 per cent, which is the equal lowest level in more than 10 years. It is, I think, tremendous that the unemployment rate now has a four in front of it, rather than a five.
Most of the jobs were part-time with the economy shedding more than 7,000 full-time jobs according to this data, is that a concern?
Well we have seen over the past 12 months, also big increases in the number of people in full-time employment. Of the more than 1.2 million jobs created under the Coalition Government, the majority of those jobs have in fact been full-time jobs. And as I said, the number of women working is at record highs and the number of women in full-time employment is also at record highs now. So we have seen a very substantial increase in the number of full-time jobs since the Coalition has come to office.
Just on another issue – do you support the Adani coal mine?
I understand there are issues being considered in relation to various environmental and regulatory hurdles that they need to overcome, that’s obviously a matter for the Minister for Resources. Our Government is a government that believes in businesses being able to invest and to create jobs. But that certainly does not come at the expense of our environment and it doesn’t come at the cost of our national interest.
If it does meet these environmental regulations, would you support it?
I’m not privy to those reports, that’s a matter for the Minister for Resources. So I will ask you to direct your question to him.