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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2019 Week 07 Hansard (Tuesday, 30 July 2019) . . Page.. 2394 ..

Within Canberra Health Services in particular, there is work going on in particular areas of Canberra Health Services that have been identified as being, I guess, problem areas. We do not particularly want to talk publicly about those individual areas where specific work is happening because that would stigmatise the staff in those areas. The last thing that we want to do is add to the workplace stress of staff by identifying particular areas where those issues are taking place.

But I can assure members of the Assembly that the directorate is working very closely with staff and with union representatives to identify those areas and to work with staff in those areas to develop a stronger culture of respect and understanding of the behaviours that are expected of staff and empowering staff to speak up when they see that those behaviours are not what they are seeing day to day.

Employment—labour market

MS CHEYNE: My question is to the Chief Minister. Chief Minister, how has the ACT labour market performed over the past year, and what does this mean for Canberra households?

MR BARR: I thank Ms Cheyne for the question. In short, the ACT labour market has performed exceptionally well. In the past year, 4,300 more Canberrans found a job. That has taken total employment in the territory to 232,500, which I believe to be an all-time record. Our unemployment rate stands at 3.4 per cent, which remains the lowest rate of unemployment in the nation. In fact, the ACT has had the lowest unemployment rate in the country since September 2017, or for 22 consecutive months.

In this year’s budget, we estimated that jobs growth over 2018-19 would come in at around one per cent for the year. With the fiscal year now concluded, it is great to see that a period of very strong jobs growth in the final quarter of the year brought that final jobs growth number to 1.9 per cent.

We will keep our focus on creating more good jobs in our economy in the months and years ahead because we know that this is central to helping families meet their needs and enjoy a higher standard of life.

Of the new jobs that have been created, it was particularly pleasing to see the split between full-time and part-time jobs.

MS CHEYNE: Chief Minister, what sort of jobs are being created, and who is getting them?

MR BARR: The answer to that is all kinds of jobs, and everyone is benefiting. Of the 4,300 new jobs created in the 12 months to June 2019, 3,400 were full time and the remaining 900 were part time, creating jobs that suit people in a variety of different circumstances. We have a particular focus, of course, on growing full-time jobs in Canberra because we know that the quality of new jobs matters just as much as the total number of them.

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