Politics argued on unemployment stats

COWPER MP Luke Hartsuyker has defended unemployment rates on the Coffs Coast, after Greens federal candidate Carol Vernon said the electorate had one of Australia's highest unemployment rates.

Mr Hartsuyker fired back at a press release issued by Ms Vernon listing the Greens employment strategy saying the statistics she had quoted were outdated.

"Cowper is listed as one of Australia's eight electorates with the highest unemployment (8.7% ABS 2011)," she said.

"The National Party has represented (this) electorate for decades.

"It is time for a change."

Mr Hartsuyker said the unemployment rate in Cowper was currently 6.8%.

"Unemployment rates are relatively low by historical standards, Coffs Harbour had unemployment rates in 1992-93 of 18% ... generally speaking it's around 6% in Coffs Harbour," he said.

"The Coffs-Grafton area was recently listed as the third highest projected growth area in employment, above Sydney and Melbourne, by Department of Employment figures."