Bendigo bucks jobs gloom

BENDIGO is bucking the national jobs trend which yesterday showed the worst result in 10 years, the Bendigo Business Council says.

Bureau of Statistics January data showed the jobless rate has shot up to 6 per cent, its highest level in more than a decade, as 3700 jobs were removed from the economy.

There were 7100 full-time positions lost and 3400 part-time jobs added.

But Bendigo Business Council executive officer Patrick Falconer said Bendigo was bucking the national trend, with more jobs driven by the new Bendigo hospital and other major projects.

“That’s why major projects are so important, because they drive employment and growth,” Mr Falconer said.

Another 20 companies in Bendigo had opened as a result of the hospital being built, he said, including hospitality, building and security services.

Nonetheless, potentially some local sectors could be impacted by job losses.

"Any national trends of job loss is not healthy for Australia and we all live in Australia, so we want it to be healthy.

“We still must strive to be innovative.

“Manufacturing is not increasing so we need to get other businesses to take up the slack.”

Professional services in Bendigo were doing “extremely well”, with some expanding to Melbourne and beyond.

Employment and recruitment agencies contacted by the Bendigo Advertiser did not comment on the job figures.

News of the national unemployment figures sent the Australian dollar tumbling back below US90c.

The aggregate monthly hours worked rose by 20.5 million hours to 1,635.8 million hours, which could indicate future improvements in the jobs market, economists said.

"There's no spinning it, Australia’s labour market is weak," Moody's Analytics associate economist Katrina Ell said.

"Businesses are not confident in future economic conditions so are trimming jobs and working their existing staff harder."


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