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Unemployment stuck above 6%

Australia is facing the possibility of high long-term “structural” unemployment, union leaders say.

The warning comes after the release of the latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures that show unemployment has been above 6% for the last nine months.

The most recent ABS numbers show a slight drop in unemployment of 0.1%. But experts say the fall largely reflected the fact that many people were giving up looking for work rather than the creation of new jobs.

ACTU President Ged Kearney said that the longer the unemployment rate had a ‘6’ in front of it, the worse the social and economic outlook will be for Australia.

“We are facing a real risk of developing long-term structural unemployment yet the Abbott Government has absolutely no plan to create jobs,” she said.

“With unemployment this high, it’s the worst possible time for the government to cut public sector jobs, dent consumer confidence, threaten welfare payments and pursue its agenda of budget cuts.

“The Abbott Government needs to bring forward infrastructure spending to help boost economic growth and get Australians back to work.”

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