Greater Shepparton’s jobless figures remain well more than the state average, despite regional Victoria’s rates dropping below national regional figures for June.
Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows Shepparton’s rate of 6.7 per cent unemployment is the highest monthly rate since July 2015 and it has been steadily rising since it reached a low of 4.6 per cent in June last year, while youth unemployment is at 13.1 per cent.
The regional Victorian unemployment rate is 5.1 per cent, less than the national regional average of 5.4 per cent.
Shepparton’s increase in unemployment comes on the back of reported growth in regional Victoria, with overall employment in the past year to June showing a jobs growth of 3.9 per cent.
State Member for Shepparton Suzanna Sheed said intuitively the numbers did not seem to add up because of the number of construction projects and investment in the region.
‘‘As the local member I don’t feel employment is as gloomy as the figures suggest, there is a real sense of optimism in Shepparton and we now need more private investment to add to the government’s,’’ Ms Sheed said.
Ms Sheed said there would be many job opportunities with the Goulburn Valley Health hospital redevelopment, the new Shepparton Art Museum, $43.5million in rail works and pre-works for the Shepparton bypass starting.
State Member for Northern Victoria Luke O’Sullivan called the figures a regional crisis.
‘‘The city-centric Andrews Government has again failed Shepparton,’’ he said.
Industry and Employment Minister Wade Noonan said since the Andrews Government came to power in 2014 the number of people employed across the Greater Shepparton region had increased by 9600.
‘‘The bottom line is, since Labor was elected, unemployment is down and the number of people working is up across the Shepparton region,’’ Mr Noonan said.
Since the government was elected statistics show the unemployment rate has dropped from 7.8 per cent to 6.7 per cent and the youth unemployment rate has declined from 17.5 per cent to 13.1 per cent.
‘‘Thanks to a pipeline of major infrastructure projects like the law courts redevelopment, we are putting more people into work,’’ Mr Noonan said.
‘‘These projects are creating opportunities for trainees and apprentices to give them the skills they need to set up future careers.
‘‘There is always more work to be done, that’s why we’re investing heavily in local employment providers to get people from all walks of life into meaningful and sustainable jobs.’’
The bureau’s labour force survey is based on a sample survey of private dwellings and non-private and covers 0.32 per cent of the Australian civilian population aged 15 or older.
In Victoria, it is expected one person for every 390 would be picked up in the survey.