Employment data: Industry reform will deliver confidence and jobs 

The peak body for Australia’s largest industry has cautiously welcomed the latest ABS jobs data for South Australia, which points to a slight downturn in South Australia’s jobless rate.

The Property Council of Australia said the December 2015 unemployment rate of 7.2 per cent (seasonally adjusted) is effectively treading water, like the industry’s confidence levels.

“Of course the drop in unemployment is positive and welcomed, but now is the time to put in place legacy building reforms in the areas of tax and planning, and a solution to our city’s adaptive reuse challenge,” said SA Executive Director Daniel Gannon.

“There’s not one person in South Australia who would welcome brandishing the country’s worst employment figures, but that’s why we can’t waste any time in restructuring our economy.

“Job creation begets job creation, and that produces confidence – confidence to transact, confidence to repurpose ageing building stock, confidence to grow and employ South Australians.”

Mr Gannon said the ANZ/Property Council Survey – the leading business sentiment index – for the March 2016 quarter shows a positive one point quarterly shift in South Australia complemented by a positive five point 12 month shift in sentiment.

“South Australia’s headline confidence rating hopped by one point quarter-on-quarter to 119 and has increased by five points over a 12-month period,” he said.

“In fact, South Australia is only one of four states to record a positive shift in sentiment over the past 12 months.

“We cannot accept the unenviable decoration of leading the country in unemployment figures, with 62,500 unemployed South Australians.

“That means future job creation and economic development remains dependent on game-changing industry reforms.”