Regional Unemployment in Latrobe-Gippsland hit hard by COVID-19

The Australian Bureau of Statistics’ latest workforce data release shows the Latrobe-Gippsland has suffered the greatest job losses of all regions in Victoria due to COVID-19.

6100 people left the workforce in Latrobe Gippsland region, representing over 40% of all regional jobs lost.  Regional Victoria lost 15,000 jobs.

The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath said this was a devastating blow as many Gippslanders were already experiencing unprecedented economic stress from drought and bushfire.

“Gippsland has now suffered a triple whammy economic shock,” said Ms Bath.

“Following years of prolonged drought, devastating bushfires throughout summer and now the coronavirus pandemic,” said Ms Bath.

“Both the services sector and our traditional industries such as native timber, electricity generation and agriculture have been hard hit over the past years.

“Latrobe Valley and Gippsland cannot afford to lose any more jobs.

“Daniel Andrews’ hollow announcements such as Steelvision have not delivered long term jobs and certainty in Gippsland, it’s also time he stopped swinging the axe on our native timber industry.”

Recent ABS data shows during March to April, a total of 132,200 Victorian workers lost their jobs due to the COVID-19 lockdown.  Women and young people experienced the greatest impact.

Across Victoria, 55 per cent of employment loss was borne by women. In Greater Melbourne, 52 per cent of employment loss were women, while in regional Victoria 78 per cent of employment loss were women.

Ms Bath said we need a state government that can competently manage the economy and show support to all industry sectors, rather than shutting them down.

“The Nationals and Liberals recently announced its comprehensive economic recovery plan to get Victorians back to work and rebuild communities,” said Ms Bath.

“While Daniel Andrew’s plan is to plunge Victoria deep into debt, borrowing billions more to pay for city infrastructure budget blow outs and prop up unfunded election promises.

“The economic crisis resulting from the extended lockdown is hurting Victorians, most concerning is the significant detrimental impact on Gippsland.

“Daniel Andrews enforced the strictest lockdowns in the country on Victorians which intensified job losses.

“The latest ABS workforce data shows the state is experiencing unprecedented economic pain, of which Gippsland is tragically bearing the brunt.”