Media Release by Senator the Hon Kay Patterson

July unemployment benefit numbers fall to 14 year low

The Minister for Family and Community Services, Senator Kay Patterson, said there were 601,043 people receiving unemployment benefits (New Start Allowance and Youth Allowance (other)) in July – a fall of 5.1% from July 2003.

This is the lowest July figure since July 1990.

The Department of Family and Community Services’ latest labour market and related payments figures were released today.

Senator Patterson said there were 420,190 jobseekers in July, a decrease of 9.8% from July 2003.

‘The number of long-term jobseekers in July has declined by 9.4% from 270,316 in July 2003 to 244,846,’ said Senator Patterson.

‘Young unemployed clients numbered 85,357 compared with 89,479 in July 2003. This was a fall of 4.6%.

‘One of the best things any government can do to help people is to create jobs.’

Senator Patterson said strong economic growth and good economic management over the past eight years under the Howard Government had helped to create over 1.3 million new jobs.

‘The Howard Government will continue to tackle unemployment by delivering successful programs such as the Personal Support Program, Personal Advisers and Working Credits, while also creating an environment of low interest rates and low inflation that fosters real job creation,’ said Senator Patterson.

‘This is in stark contrast to Labor whose track record shows a history of interest rates of 17% and around 1 million Australians unemployed.

‘How can Australians trust Labor when they have no family tax policy, which is now 105 days overdue,’ Senator Patterson said.

Notes to Editors:

  1. The figures contained in this publication are different from the unemployment figures produced by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), as the ABS and FaCS use different methodologies to count unemployed customers.
  2. Long-term clients have been on income support for 12 months or more and can be off payment for up to 25 weeks before being reclassified as short-term. This differs significantly from the ABS definition of long-term unemployment.