NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet with Deputy Premier John Barilaro on the North Coast.
NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet with Deputy Premier John Barilaro on the North Coast. Daniel McKenzie

Doling out the jobs to young workers

FINGER pointing over who is to blame for concerning youth unemployment rates in the Coffs Clarence should see the issue escalated to one of importance in the region ahead of next year's State and Federal elections.

NSW Liberal Treasurer Dominic Perrottet was this week branded by his Labor counterpart as 'out of touch' after 'downplaying the troubling level of youth unemployment', which Labor says has soared in Coffs Harbour and Grafton.

Shadow Treasurer Ryan Park attacked the Berejiklian Government over the latest ABS youth unemployment rate that stood at 22.5 per cent as of July in the region.

But the Treasurer was quick to respond saying the Government was focussed on regional jobs for young people and currently NSW led the nation in youth employment statistics.

"Providing jobs in regional areas is one of our biggest priorities, particularly for young people," Mr Perrottet said.

"We know in some areas it can be tough to find work, and we will continue to do everything we can to create jobs and opportunities.

"We have created more than 500,000 jobs across NSW since our Government was elected in 2011 and NSW has the lowest unemployment rate of any state in Australia."


Labor Shadow Treasurer Ryan Park.
Labor Shadow Treasurer Ryan Park. Contributed

Labor pointed out that when it left office in March 2011, youth unemployment in Coffs Harbour and Grafton was at 9.8 per cent, while the latest figures are significantly higher than the 10.3 per cent average youth unemployment rate across NSW.

"The revelation is an uncomfortable truth for the NSW Liberal Treasurer who boasted in a parliamentary hearing yesterday that 'youth unemployment is the lowest it's ever been'," Mr Park said.

The government noted that the NSW youth unemployment rate is the lowest of any state, and well below the national average of 12.2 per cent and that over 80 percent of all youth job creation across Australia has been in NSW seeing 68,600 youth jobs added since April, 2011.

Regionally, NSW youth jobs were said to have jumped 24,500 since the last election.

Currently the NSW unemployment rate is 4.9 per cent and the National unemployment rate 5.3 per cent.

The Advocate will seek to ensure youth unemployment and the growth and support of job fostering industries on the coast is a major focus of the upcoming State and Federal elections in Coffs Harbour and Cowper.