Jobs hit hardest in Barwon region

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has revealed that more than 80 per cent of job losses in regional Victoria last month have been in the Barwon- Western District.

More than 10,000 jobs have been lost during August in Geelong and the southwest part of the state.

The loss of 12,400 jobs across country Victoria, more than a third of which were full-time positions, has driven the regional unemployment rate up from 5.4 per cent to 5.8 per cent, reports the geelongadvertiser.com.au.

Labour's employment spokesman, Tim Pallas said Geelong and the Barwon-Western District was the hardest hit region in Victoria.

"With the (area's) unemployment rate skyrocketing by 0.5 per cent to 5.5 per cent, Geelong and the western region of the state is the area most in need of attention," Pallas added.

Pallas accused the State Government of ignoring the "difficult times" Geelong had experienced over the past 18 months.

He went on to say that the Geelong region had been overlooked to host an import/export car trade, which will go to Webb Dock, and the Government was ignoring Labour's proposal for a second port at Bay West.

The Government yesterday pointed to figures showing manufacturing jobs had grown over the past 12 months, despite tough economic conditions, including a high Australian dollar and rising energy costs.

Manufacturing, Exports and Trade Minister, Richard Dalla-Riva said the data showed there are 13,100 more Victorians working in manufacturing than in August last year.

According to Dalla-Riva "while there are difficult conditions facing the sector, these figures indicate Victoria's manufacturers are up for the fight, and fighting hard."

Dalla- Riva stated that “yet the official data suggests manufacturing in Victoria is not only holding its own, but that it is performing comparatively strongly, when measured against other states."