South Australia’s unemployment rate eases slightly to 7.2 per cent

South Australia’s unemployment rate has eased slightly to 7.2 per cent in December, a fall of 0.1 percentage points, according to new ABS figures released today.

In total 62,500 people are unemployed in the state, down 1200 in the past month.

The national unemployment rate remained steady at 5.8 per cent.

South Australia retains the nation’s highest unemployment rate, 0.4 percentage points higher than Tasmania.

South Australia’s trend unemployment rate, which smoothes out month-to-month volatility, stands at 7.3 per cent.

“There are now approximately 8600 more people employed in South Australia than exactly 12 months ago, and employment increased for both full-time and part-time jobs over the past month,” said Acting Employment Minister Susan Close.

“The number of unemployed people in South Australia has declined for five consecutive months, resulting in almost 5000 fewer unemployed people.

Despite the state’s steadying unemployment outlook, the automotive workforce received more bad news on Wednesday when 110 labour hire contractors and 30 permanent employees at SMR Automotive — around a quarter of the company’s workers — were told of impending redundancies.

SMRA general manager of operations John Scott said the “regrettable” decision was necessary as the company moved away from a reliance on the automotive sector.

 The company recently lost a contract to supply mirrors to Ford in the US.

“As a company we must evolve or cease to exist, it’s as simple as that,” he said.

State Minister for Automotive Transformation Kyam Maher distanced his Government from its role in the decline of the car industry, saying the Federal Government had “chased the automotive industry out of this country”.

“We will see more job losses as the automotive industry winds down towards the end of 2017,” he said.

But jobs news hasn’t all been bad.

The ABS reported job vacancies in South Australia had increased 22.9 per cent in the past year.

Private sector job vacancies are now at their highest level since 2012.

Retail is driving the recovery, accounting for a third of the increase in vacancies.

And, according to recruiter Hays, professionals in architecture, property management, IT, accountancy, healthcare, law and financial planning will be in demand this year.

Hays managing director Nick Deligiannis said there was an active market for professionals with skills in demand.

“The market for highly skilled professionals with the right combination of technical skills and cultural fit is tightening as employers fill staffing gaps, increase sales and undertake projects,” he said.

The State Government today provided a breakdown of thousands of jobs that would created by $2.5 billion worth of infrastructure projects scheduled to start this year.

The Northern Connector, Darlington upgrade and O-Bahn tunnel would support more than 850 jobs in 2016, and another 400 would be created this year by the Government’s $200 million investment in housing.


Story via AdelaideNow

Dale Bothe editor

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