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Concern over jobless figures

The rise in unemployment to 6.5%, although relatively small, is 'a worrying shift in the wrong direction', says Catholic Welfare Australia (CWA) national director Toby O'Connor.

The rise from 6.3% was announced last week, along with the shift to more casual work, with the loss of 68,000 fulltime jobs and an increase of 80,000 part-time jobs in June.

Mr O'Connor said this casualisation trend reveals a labour market unable to cater for the basic needs of many Australians.

"CWA remains concerned that the official unemployment rate does not reflect the true extent of the unemployment crisis," he said. "Not enough is being done to create decent jobs and this is having a disastrous impact in the lives of individuals, families and often entire communities."

Mr O'Connor said that years ago Pope John Paul II described work as "a key, probably the essential key to the whole social question".

He commented: "These prophetic words ring true and remain a challenge to our national community and our political leaders to act decisively in creating real jobs and providing a just wage for all."

Catholic Welfare Australia

Catholic Leader

18 Jul 2002