Peterborough's jobless rate falls below national average

GREAT: Mayor Ruth Whittle welcomed the good news about Peterborough's downward-trending unemployment rate.
GREAT: Mayor Ruth Whittle welcomed the good news about Peterborough's downward-trending unemployment rate.

The Mid North town of Peterborough is celebrating after its jobless rate dipped below the national average.

It was the first time in at least 15 years that the unemployment rate has been so low.

The June quarter result, according to the Employment Department, is 5.2 percent compared with the national average of 5.7 percent.

The rate has been falling since it reached a high of 12.8 percent in the December quarter of 2008.

Mayor Ruth Whittle said the result was “great”.

“It could be for all sorts of reasons. It could be that all of our ventures, adventures and projects are paying off and a few more people are getting employment around the place.

“It is good news going into the Christmas period.”

Asked whether the town would celebrate, she said the achievement would feature prominently in the council newsletter, The Informer, in the New Year.

“It is good for Peterborough and it finishes our year with all our successes,” she said.

Port Augusta’s rate increased in the June quarter to 10.4 percent, just below the 15-year high of 10.6 percent in 2014.

The closure of the northern power station and resultant loss of jobs would have affected that result.

The jobless rate is on a downward trend in Port Pirie.

The figure of 8.7 percent for the June quarter compares with a high of 15.9 percent in the December quarter of 2015. 

The latest series of quarters each showed a decrease in the rate. Mayor John Rohde said the data, released through Global Maintenance Upper Spencer Gulf, showed the rate was falling “dramatically”.

He said this, when combined with a newfound real estate upsurge in Port Pirie, suggested the city was in the midst of a “positive trend”.

The 15.9 percent figure was the highest since 2002 and subsequent quarters all recorded a decline in the rate.

Port Pirie Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Mark Hanlon said the results were “fantastic”, but better was yet to come.

“I think there is a fair bit of confidence going forward in what could happen, but that is not tomorrow – probably in the next 12 months to two years,” he said.

“The future is very, very bright … things will only get better as a result of the industries that spin off from Nyrstar’s ‘transformation’.”

“The jobs translate into trade. The economy is going to be stronger and more confidence will come back into the retail sector.”