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One year on from the Holden factory closure in Elizabeth, Anglicare’s 2018 Job Availability Snapshot has revealed a drop in the number of entry-level jobs available in SA and an ever-increasing number of people looking for entry-level work.

The research showed a five percent drop in entry-level jobs advertised this year compared to 2017, and a 13 percent increase in the number of people looking for entry-level work over the same period.

There are now 8.5 South Australian applicants for every entry-level job, well above the national average of five.

Peter Sandeman, AnglicareSA CEO, said this worrying trend has been ongoing since 2010 when the annual snapshot commenced.

“This ongoing decline in low-skill, entry-level jobs, from 22 percent in 2017 to 17 percent of jobs in 2018, is making the situation even harder for people with significant barriers to employment,” Mr Sandeman said.

“Low-skilled, entry-level jobs are slowly disappearing and there aren’t enough of them to reduce unemployment.”

However, Mr Sandeman said there is some light on the horizon for job-seekers in urban and regional SA.

“German battery giant Sonnen announced the creation of 450 jobs at a new factory on the old Holden site,” he said. “Sanjeev Gupta’s solar energy project near the revived Whyalla steelworks is reportedly set to create 350 jobs in the construction phase alone.

“But of course, we must do more than just sit and wait for jobs to be generated by international business investment.

“Particularly in Adelaide’s north, unemployment and under-employment will continue to increase social and economic disadvantage. We all need to find ways to address social and financial inequality to make our state a more inclusive, stronger economy and a more equitable society.”

Mr Sandeman proposed bringing enterprise and social action together to help foster and grow social business with the establishment of a South Australian Social Business Action Tank.

“Without the need to provide profits to investors, social business has the strong potential to create jobs and economic activity,” Mr Sandeman said. “It can help to reduce inequality and its blight on the lives of so many people and the drag it creates on economic growth.

“It’s not the only solution but rather a complimentary strategy to other more conventional approaches.

“Importantly Social Business allows community groups across the state to create productive enterprises, standalone start-ups or partnerships with businesses, which strengthen SA’s social and economic fabric.

“It’s a movement we need to join, to encourage and to invest in.”

The Whole Country Is Doing it Tough

The national Jobs Availability Snapshot found that across Australia:

  • More than 714,000 people are unemployed
  • More than 1.125 million people are underemployed
  • 110,000+ job seekers are only qualified for entry-level jobs (11% reduction compared to 2017)
  • Of the 185,662 job vacancies advertised, less than 26,000 (14 percent) were entry-level jobs
  • Across Australia, there are on average five job-seekers competing for every entry-level job
  • In South Australia, there are 8.5 job-seekers competing for every entry-level job

The Job Availability Snapshot is the second key piece of research released during Anti-Poverty Week, highlighting the real and present effects of poverty and joblessness across this state and around the country.

“How long must we wait for change-making action to be instigated? How many more reports will be published and go unsighted before the human tragedy of potentially lifelong poverty is seen as a reality that deserves our full attention?”

Peter Sandeman

Read the full 2018 Jobs Availability Snapshot – EMBARGOED

Media enquiries to Amy Osborne on 0427 075 566