Unemployment rates positive but the Yass Business Chamber says not to be complacent

The number of people out of work in the Yass Valley has risen in the past year, but remains well below the state and national average.

All of the electorates surrounding the Yass Valley all have an unemployment rate which is lower than the state average of 5 per cent.

Figures from the Federal Department of Employment show the Yass Valley unemployment rate is currently 1.7 per cent, an increase of 0.4 of June 2015.

Of the surrounding Local Government Areas of Goulburn Mulwaree , Palarang, Queanbeyan, Wingecarribee and Wagga Wagga the Valley has the second best employment rate. Goulburn’s percentage of 4.9 drawing close to the state average, with Palarang outperforming other areas at 1.4 per cent.   

A Department of Employment spokesperson said that while the unemployment rate has risen in four of the six LGAs over the last year, the rate in each remains below the state (5.0) and national (5.6) rates.

“The LGAs of Wingecarribee (Hill Top and Bowral) and Wagga Wagga both recorded a 1.0 percentage point decline in their unemployment rate over the year,” the spokesperson said. “The Queanbeyan and Palerang LGAs have only recently merged and data for those areas is not yet reflected in these estimates.”

President of the Yass Business Chamber Michael Pilbrow said although the figures are positive, there are still many issues that shouldn’t be ignored.  

“The figures reflect our proximity to Canberra where many residents work.  We are very fortunate to be part of a region with a strong employment base at the centre, but it does mean that people spend a lot of time commuting,” he said. “The Chamber would like to see more job opportunities locally and I applaud our businesses that are growing and offering job opportunities here.”

While the figures compare well to other LGAs, there are a number of people doing it tough. 

“Our unemployment is largely hidden, so we shouldn’t be complacent. For these people, transport to interviews and job opportunities can be a challenging. The more we can to keep growing our own local economy, the better.”