People looking for jobs in Northern NSW has more than doubled between December 2019 and July 2020.
People looking for jobs in Northern NSW has more than doubled between December 2019 and July 2020.

20,000 people actively looking for jobs in Northern NSW

NORTHERN NSW had more than 20,000 people looking for work in July, according to new data from the Federal Government.

The July numbers in the Labour Market Information Portal confirmed 20,552 people aged 15 years or older, living between Tweed and Grafton, were actively looking for work through the Federal Government's JobActive program.

Of that number, people aged 15 to 24 were 3,480 and people aged 50 years and older were 6,194.

The number of people looking for work through the Federal Government's JobActive program was 9,806 at December 2019, a 110 per cent increase from the numbers rcorded last December.

The unemployment rate for the Tweed-Richmond area, based on data by the ABS, was at 4.7 per cent, while youth unemployment (145 to 24 year olds) was at 9.9 per cent.

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What to do? Jim Adams, CEO, National Landcare Network, said there was an opportunity for people to work on landscape-recovery projects.

"Australians are overwhelmingly supportive of COVID-recovery initiatives that can keep people in work while also helping damaged landscapes recover," he said.

"They see that practical initiatives to help plant trees, restore degraded river systems and eradicate noxious weeds and feral animals are an ideal way to help improve our landscapes while also ensuring communities survive this tough period."

Pepe Clarke, Deputy Director of the Pew Charitable Trusts Outback to Oceans program, said even with JobKeeper, data released by the federal government showed there had been a sharp increase in people looking for work in all parts of Australia.

"Given the clear evidence of people struggling to find work, it would be great to see the Federal Government responding to this strong public support for funding practical conservation and land management work while the economy recovers," Mr Clarke said.

In order to keep people employed while Australia recovers from the impact of COVID-19, an alliance of more than 70 conservation and farming organisations, including Landcare, National Farmers Federation, NRM Regions Australia, Australian Land Conservation Alliance, Australian Conservation Foundation and Pew Charitable Trusts, is calling on state and federal governments to fund thousands of jobs undertaking practical conservation activities like planting trees, removing weeds and restoring rivers.

Read more >> Northern NSW jobs numbers bounce back in June