Jobless figures on rise

UNEMPLOYMENT in Warwick remains marginally lower than the state average, despite a slight increase in the number of Warwick residents looking for work.

Last Wednesday the Southern Downs Regional Council released the 2011 Economic Briefs report which exposed unemployment rates in Warwick, Stanthorpe and Toowoomba.

The report, which was conducted by Lawrence Consulting, found Warwick had an increasing unemployment rate of 5.4%, compared to the state average of 5.5%.

Southern Downs Mayor Ron Bellingham said there was concern about the rising figures.

He said although flooding and the global financial crisis had impacted on Warwick's economy, the increase was only minor.

"It's not an increase of significant means," Cr Bellingham said.

"There is a certain variation of a small percentage, but that will vary from time to time. It's certainly a season variation.

"We aren't booming by any means but business in both Warwick and Stanthorpe is quite solid.

"We are going to see these variations from time to time."

Although Stanthorpe's unemployment rate of 6% had decreased in the September quarter of 2010, unemployment was considered "marginally higher" than the state average.

The report also found 3555 people were unemployed in Toowoomba, which had a slightly lower unemployment rate than Warwick, of 4.2%.

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