| Share

July unemployment numbers welcomed / more needs to be done for older Australians and Indigenous people


Matthew Tukaki, CEO of business sustainability practice SansGov and former Head of Drake Australia, has welcomed news that unemployment rates have stabilised further, even though there has been a slight increase – but has said, more needs to be done to address the increasing disparity in Indigenous employment and the increasing number of older Australians becoming long term unemployed:

“The employment numbers remain strong, even though they have increased slightly - and it is further indication on the increasing stability of the jobs market. The participation rate us up slightly and there appears to by more part time versus full time jobs on offer. I expect that before the end of the year, the unemployment rate will fall further and when we get towards October and November I also expect we will see an increase in the number of full time jobs being created versus part time. We have to put this into context, because the United States and European Countries are still averaging unemployment at between 9.5% and 20%.” Mr Tukaki said

  • Employment increased to 11,220,600

  • Unemployment increased to 619,100

  • Unemployment rate at 5.2%

  • Participation rate at 65.3%

  • Aggregate monthly hours worked increased to 1,583.4 million hours

“We must be conscious that we do not see the unemployment numbers as simply a job done, and now let’s move on. There is still significant disadvantage in some sectors of our community such as Indigenous employment. I attended the launch of the GenerationOne policy yesterday in Sydney with the Opposition Leader, Tony Abbott , Housing Minister Tanya Plibersek and Twiggy Forrest. Let me tell you Indigenous unemployment being 3 times higher than non-indigenous unemployment is a disgrace and we need real solutions to a problem that has been plaguing our house for decades.” Mr Tukaki said.

“With increasing demands on skills within industry, this is a perfect time to address disparity in employment from the increasing number of older Australians moving into long term unemployment statistics, Indigenous Australians where the rate is three times higher and disabled Australians who are able to work, but turned away by employers for, in many cases, no good reason at all.” Mr Tukaki said.

Mr Tukaki has called on business and industry to commit to changing and modifying hiring practices and not just signing up to programs to better the brand of the business, but actually achieve targets they set:

“A number of organisations sign up to corporate social responsibility programs or initiatives, but often struggle to meet the commitments they make. If you commit to increasing the indigenous diversity of your workforce and are unsure how to then meet your objectives, then get in touch with the program owners such as GenerationOne or the UNGC who can work with you.” Mr Tukaki said.

Mr Tukaki has said that business and industry should be applauded for how they have managed their workforces over the past 12 months:

“Let’s be blunt here – yes stimulus and the reforms for the previous Howard Government have been important factors – but let’s not forget the role business played in retaining workers, diversifying the workforce and keeping Australian’s employed when it was still quite possible for redundancies and lay-offs to have been a daily occurrence – we call that sustainable business practice, an important lesson learnt from the last recession.”