Lower dollar helps SA manufacturing add nearly 10,000 jobs in 12 months

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The benefits of a lower dollar have helped see South Australia’s manufacturing sector add nearly 10,000 new jobs in the last 12 months, but a workforce expert believes the state needs to address employment problems, including Holden’s looming closure.

The Advertiser reports that the most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show SA’s manufacturers add 9,700 jobs over the period. Total employment in the sector stands at 79,500, up from a trough of 66,800 in 2013 though significantly less than 103,300 in 2006. The food and beverage sector added 1,200 of the new jobs.

“Given that the Australian dollar will remain relatively low, I think, for a while longer, we can expect to see manufacturing employment numbers to look relatively strong for this year,” Professor John Spoehr of the Australian Transformation Institute told The Advertiser.

Spoehr said SA needed to address its unemployment rate (the highest of any state) and to prepare for Holden’s closure. The full effect of Holden’s Elizabeth plant shutdown, to take place at the end of the year, would be 6,000 jobs, including at suppliers, he said. The full effects would not be seen until six months afterwards.