Caboolture unemployment higher than state average

Jess Thompson is looking for work pictured with her sons Teancam Morris and Dante Douras. Photo Vicki Wood / Caboolture News
Jess Thompson is looking for work pictured with her sons Teancam Morris and Dante Douras. Photo Vicki Wood / Caboolture News Vicki Wood

CABOOLTURE residents are increasingly struggling to gain full-time work, with an unemployment rate higher than the state average.

As of December 2012, unemployment for the Longman electorate hit 7.86%, more than double where it stood in 2008.

Residents feel the pressure:

Caboolture mum Jess Thompson is one of many struggling to find employment.

In the past three months, she has applied for almost 300 jobs. She has not landed a single interview.

So what is wrong with Jess?

She's a 23-year-old dedicated mum of two young boys who finished year 12, has a Responsible Service of Alcohol certificate and a Certificate II in Computing.

However, while other school leavers were heading off to TAFE or uni, Jess was dealing with the hard work of being a young mum.

As a result, she had little time to gain work experience and feels as though she has slipped through the cracks.

She believes she is seen as too old for entry-level positions.

"I'm applying anywhere and everywhere, even doing resume drops to get out there more," Jess said.

"But even jobs that say no experience required don't want me, because I'm either too old, or someone with a bit of experience applies, and they get it.

"Everyone is looking for workers with experience, but how am I supposed to get any if no one is willing to give me a chance?"

Jess's partner Nathan works as a postman and because he earns too much, Jess is unable to get support from Centrelink.

That places stress on the household.

What businesses think:

On the flipside, businesses are also feeling the financial pinch.

Coffee Club Burpengary franchisee Roger Holden said rising costs had seen his electricity bill rise from $1800 a month to $3000, which made it harder for him to employ new staff.

"Unfortunately, you have to make savings wherever you can, and staffing costs don't escape being looked at," Mr Holden said.

"It has made it difficult for us to commit to taking on extra people, despite the fact we're a growing business."

Mr Holden said increasing financial pressure on small business owners had seen many come back to work in the businesses themselves to save on staffing costs.

He said the pressure on employment in the region had seen his staff turnover rates improve dramatically.

"We get a lot of people coming and staying now. Our turnover is almost down to zero these days."

What politicians think:

Member for Longman Wyatt Roy agreed employment was an issue in the area, however, he felt more needed to be done to place employers in a position to hire again.

"Small businesses have been attacked under this Federal Labor Government by almost 30 new or increased taxes, including the carbon tax and the mining tax," he said.

"And they have been affected by the introduction of more than 21,000 regulations. The best way to lower unemployment is by cutting taxes and regulations."

What do you think? Comment below or email

Topics:  business caboolture employment longman staffing

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