SA loses close to 20,000 full-time jobs in two months

SA loses close to 20,000 full-time jobs in two months

Posted on: 26 February 2024

South Australia’s unemployment rate has risen to 4 per cent while the state recorded the highest underemployment rate in the country – the alarming news coming ahead of next week’s anticipated announcement that the frigates program could be reduced, impacting local jobs.

In another sign of trouble, almost 20,000 full-time jobs were lost in South Australia between November 2023 and January 2024.

For the same period, the data also shows there are 12,000 fewer people employed.

The unemployment rate increased by 0.1 per cent while the underemployment rate also rose to 7.7 per cent – a rise of 0.1 per cent.

Next week, and after months of speculation, it is anticipated that a change to the number of frigates to be built in South Australia will be formally announced.

Any reduction in frigates – from the nine promised by the Albanese Labor Government – will be classified as a failure from Labor and will have a devastating impact on local jobs.

Shadow Treasurer, Matt Cowdrey, said the huge loss of full-time jobs in South Australia is alarming.

“While the headline unemployment rate remains strong, the underlying data is laced with red flags,” Mr Cowdrey said.

“South Australia retained the unwanted title of having the highest level of underemployment in the nation, but more worryingly there are now almost 20,000 fewer people in full-time jobs and 12,000 fewer employed.

“This data underlines the importance of South Australia retaining the promised nine frigates next week as the pipeline of full-time employment opportunities would be severely compromised.”

Shadow Minister for Finance and Tax Reform, Heidi Girolamo, said the participation rate in South Australia also dropped.

“The drop in participation rate – by 1 per cent to 63.4 per cent – has hidden the job losses from the headline number,” Ms Girolamo said.

“Not only do we have fewer South Australians in work, but we have fewer people searching for work.

“A thriving job market relies not just on the availability of jobs, but the pool of individuals actively seeking opportunities and contributing to the workforce – but an increasing number of South Australians are just giving up.

“At a time of year that traditionally holds higher total employment due to seasonal work and events, it’s clear Peter Malinauskas needs to outline his economic plan for South Australia beyond sporting events.”