Doorstop in Wangaratta, Victoria
- Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations
- Minister for Women
Subjects: October labour force figures; employment programs; supporting small business.
There are more Australians in work than ever before. That’s been revealed in the latest ABS labour force data, and there are more Australians in full-time work than ever before – in fact it stands at a record of more than 8.7 million Australians. And the majority of people who have been getting that full-time work have in fact been women. Women’s full-time employment stands at record highs. And it’s interesting to note that there has been strong growth in full-time employment over the last month, more than 32,000 new jobs created, again, the majority of those jobs going to women.
This is great news, it’s an indication that our economy continues to grow. Since the beginning of 2017 we have seen the growth in employment to the tune of more than 600,000 new jobs. That is 600,000 new opportunities for people to be employed, to build their financial security.
It shows that the Coalition’s plan for a strong economy is working. But there are very real threats that Bill Shorten and a potential Labor government would have on impeding this jobs growth. Their plan for $200 billion of new taxes or increased taxes will have a very detrimental impact on economic growth. We want to keep the economy growing, we want to keep employment growing, and it’s no accident that the unemployment rate has remained steady at 5 per cent, having dropped only a month before from 5.3 down to 5 per cent. We have a plan to keep the economy growing, and we have a plan to keep more people in jobs. It’s great to see that plan working.
Wage growth has been sluggish, employing labour is relatively cheap at the moment, wouldn’t you expect unemployment to be falling is this environment rather than flat lining?
Unemployment has been falling over recent months. We saw it drop a month ago from 5.3 per cent down to 5 per cent. We have seen a huge growth in full-time employment. There are more people in full-time employment, more women in full-time employment, than at any other point in time. That’s a record. That’s terrific that we’re seeing that. Over the last month we have seen full-time employment grow by more than 30,000 jobs. They are big numbers. They are strong jobs numbers. Since 2017 there have been more than 600,000 jobs created, this indicates that we are having growth in our economy, growth in jobs and it’s a demonstration that our strong economic plan is working.
Since the Morrison Government abandoned the big business enterprise tax plan your Government hasn’t yet announced a revised plan to replace it. When will that happen and how big will the jobs growth benefit be?
We have announced a number of measures already to cut personal income tax rates, we have announced measures to cut small and medium sized enterprise taxes. For those businesses with turnovers of less than $50 million a year they will benefit from our legislated tax cut which will go down to 25 per cent. This will help to continue to grow the economy because it will allow those businesses, the small and medium sized enterprises that employ the majority of Australians, to continue to invest in their businesses, to grow their businesses, and to create new jobs. We are seeing the benefits of that already with the tax cuts that have already hit with the creation that we have seen – over 30,000 jobs created in the last month alone. That is paying a dividend right here right now. But there is a real risk of a Bill Shorten led Labor government – $200 billion of new or increased taxes. That will be job destroying, that will be economy destroying and that’s before you take into account their very radical industrial relations policies that would see a reintroduction – like back in the 1970s – of sector-wide industrial disputation that would see our economy potentially ground to a halt. It would have huge economic implications.
After achieving the original Abbott Government's million jobs target, are you prepared to set a new jobs target, or even an unemployment target to drive government policy in the months ahead?
Our target is to continue to grow the economy, our target is to continue to have businesses invest in their business and create new jobs. That plan that we put in place is working and we have seen more than 1.1 million new jobs created – it's almost at 1.2 million but not quite there yet – and the latest data from the ABS reveals that we have seen a record number of people in full-time employment, including women in full-time employment, and the latest figures reveal more than 30,000 people have been given the opportunity of new full-time employment as a result of that job creation.
Our target and our plan is always to grow the economy and increase jobs. That plan has been working, that's our plan. The Labor Party have a plan to destroy jobs through their high-taxing policies that would retard business, retard growth, retard investment and put our economy at risk. There is a clear choice between what a Coalition Government offers and delivers and what a Labor government would do to retard jobs in this country. In fact, their policies would be job destroying not job creating and people are alive and awake to it.
And just a couple for us here in north-east Victoria, so you're here in north-east Victoria today, Wangaratta, can you tell us why you've come to our region?
I go out and around to all Australian regions to be able to listen directly to stakeholders talking about what's important to those rural and regional communities. I'm here in Indi at the invitation of Cathy McGowan who wanted to connect me with a number of local job providers, and manufacturers, and a number of people who are also service providers in the local community, to talk about the great opportunity for people to get a job here in rural and regional Australia, and how we need to plan the workforce for the future. That's why I'm here talking about the policies the Government has, talking about the policies the Government's delivering and hearing directly from stakeholders about what they need.
Is the Morrison Government concerned about job figures in these regions?
The unemployment rate here in this region is actually much lower than the national average. It's around about 3.5 per cent rather than 5 per cent. That is a good, but also a challenging thing for a number of people who are looking to expand in business. It means that they need to try and attract the skills and the workforce that they need to grow their business. We've created huge export opportunities as a result of our free trade agreements with China, with Japan, with South Korea, the Trans Pacific Partnership that's just recently been signed and also our closer economic engagement with countries like Indonesia, Singapore and also India. There is a huge export market that is available and that is the big prize, the big opportunity, but having the workforce to help to be able to deliver on those export opportunities is fundamental and that's why I'm here listening to regional communities, talking about the programs that we have in place to be able to deliver that workforce and being able to work together.
What is the Government's plan for regional jobs growth?
Part of the plan is all about expanding the markets that are available to rural and regional communities. No longer do they have to rely upon domestic markets alone. They've got huge, new markets open and available to them. But they do need the workforce and the skills base to be able to grow their businesses. We're doing a current review of jobactive providers to see whether in fact they're meeting the needs of employers in small, medium and larger scale enterprises here in rural and regional Victoria, and also nationally. We're wanting to make sure that people have the skills that they need in order to get the jobs that are available and there is significant Government funding behind that. We need to make sure that young people in particular get their foot through the door, that they get the work experience to be able to give them that first opportunity, then the second, then the third, then the fourth, and then again the education and training in order to commit to their career. So we're doing lots of different things and I brought the Regional Manager here in Victoria up to this meeting so that he can also hear direct and we can make those better connections. Thank you very much.