My adjournment matter this evening is for the attention of the Minister for Employment and Trade and it is in relation to the recently released Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) unemployment rates.
The ABS figures that were released on 7 August demonstrate that the unemployment rate in Victoria rose from 6.6 per cent to 7 per cent in the month of July.
It was reported that this was the highest unemployment rate in 13 years. Our jobless rate is now higher than that of the United States of America, which is 6.2 per cent.
The Age of 8 August reported that when the ABS unemployment figures were announced the Australian dollar plunged more than half a cent to below US93 cents.
Among the hardest hit are young people, who are finding it difficult to obtain skills in the light of TAFE funding cuts and who are then faced with the highest rate of youth unemployment when attempting to enter the job market.
Since late 2008 employment for those aged under 25 years has declined by more than 6 per cent. That equates to one in five young people who are not able to find work. In terms of Geelong, statistics reported on the front page of the Geelong Advertiser last week indicate that 1 in 10 people in Geelong are out of work but want to work.
We know that a number of companies have already said that they will be closing soon, so the unemployment rate is going to get worse before there is a possibility that it will get better.
The action that I seek from the minister, given that the unemployment figures are having a detrimental effect on individuals, families and communities, is to inform me about what this government is doing to alleviate the levels of unemployment in this state, whether it be in the adult sector or in youth unemployment, and what the government is doing to ensure that retrenched workers can get employment as soon as possible.