New figures released today confirm that the number of employed Victorians has fallen by 13,190 people in December 2022.
Despite today’s release of ABS Labour Force data showing a slight fall in Victoria’s unemployment rate to 3.5 per cent in December, it is underpinned by a significant 0.5 per cent drop in Victoria’s participation rate to 66.6 per cent, revealing Victorians are dropping out of the jobs market.
Overall, there were 20,603 less Victorians in the labour force than in November.
The Nationals member for Euroa Annabelle Cleeland said businesses across the region were struggling to fill vacancies.
“Right across the region we have businesses whose growth is being hampered due to a lack of available staff,” Ms Cleeland said.
“It’s been an incredibly tough couple of years, with COVID and floods. Our communities have felt the full force of these events.
“It’s important we attract more workers to regional Victoria to staff local businesses and support local economies.”
Without investment in regional services and infrastructure Ms Cleeland expressed concern migration to regional areas will be hampered and workforce shortages will continue.
“The lifestyle in regional Victoria is something to be treasured but we need to ensure the investment is there to encourage growth,” Ms Cleeland said.
“The decision to move to or stay in a regional area becomes incredibly difficult when health and childcare services are sparse, roads are in such a poor state, and we have connectivity black spots.”
“We all want our region to be the best place to raise a family, earn a living and connect to community.
“This is only possible if government investment is boosted, and we see a sustained commitment to regional infrastructure.”