Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls says the government needs to do more to reduce the state’s unemployment rate after negative jobless figures.
Queensland’s treasurer admits the government needs to do more work if it is to fulfil an election promise to cut the state’s unemployment rate to four per cent.
Australian Bureau of Statistics figures released on Thursday show the state’s unemployment rate has increased 0.2 per cent to 6.1 per cent in January 2014.
Tim Nicholls says while those figures, which are seasonally adjusted, show a “marginal” increase, the trend figures show the state tracking steadily at 5.9 per cent.
That’s in line with the national figures, he says.
But Mr Nicholls concedes the figures show the government needs to do more to invest in job growth.
“I get no pleasure out of seeing those numbers,” Mr Nicholls told reporters in Brisbane on Thursday.
“I think that we do need to do more work and we consistently say that’s the case.”
Mr Nicholls said the government was still committed to its election promise to cut the unemployment rate to four per cent within six years.
But Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt said unemployment was now more than 0.5 per cent higher than when the Liberal National Party (LNP) took power and was on par with levels seen during the global financial crisis.
Mr Pitt said the figures meant 11,700 Queenslanders had lost jobs in the past month.
“It’s significant because these are real people with real families,” he said.
Mr Pitt also criticised Mr Nicholls for changing between seasonally adjusted and trend figures based on which one painted the jobless rate in the best light.
“When he does that, what he says is the best figures of the day will help him,” he said.
“Well guess what? There’s nowhere for the LNP and the treasurer to hide on this one.”