SA’s unemployment rate spikes to 7.7% in February


The latest figures by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) revealed that South Australia’s headline employment rate rose by 0.9 per cent to 7.7 per cent in February.

Image credit: User: Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee
Image credit: User: Vichaya Kiatying-Angsulee

The data showed that 8,000 more South Australians were in work last month compared to February last year, even though full time employment in the state has increased for the last five months, with 2,500 more people employed full time.

“South Australia is going through a period of economic transition, with less reliance on old industries such as heavy manufacturing and car-making, and a greater focus on high-tech, high-value manufacturing in areas such as food and medical devices,” said SA’s Employment Minister Kyam Maher.

“This transition means our state faces a difficult employment challenge. Thousands of production line and automotive supply chain jobs will be lost when General Motors Holden closes its Elizabeth plant next year.”

However, the Minister said there had been positive signs during the past two weeks with the announcement of the creation of as many as 300 jobs in the state.

“Pfizer Australia will go ahead with a $21 million upgrade of its Adelaide facility, allowing for the commercialisation of a cancer medicine. This will secure 100 local hi-tech manufacturing jobs, as well as work for local tradespeople contributing to the complex fit-out of the facility,” the Minister pointed out.

“And a new joint venture between local water treatment technology company Micromet and Chinese industrial group Dadongwu will generate 75 new manufacturing jobs – and as many as 200 – in Adelaide. The agreement will open new markets in China for Micromet’s technology, which removes pollutants from contaminated water such as sewage, grey water, and industrial effluent.”

According to the ABS, the national headline unemployment rate fell by 0.2 per cent to 5.8 per cent.