The ACTU has urged the Employment Minister Cash take real action to address wage growth, which is close to record lows, and to face up to the crisis in underemployment and insecure work that her government has created.

Today’s employment figures show a 0.1% change in the number of people who are unemployed, but mask the real problems faced by working people.

Quotes attributable to ACTU Secretary Sally McManus:

“Trickle-down economics isn’t working for working people and while Minister Cash might be happy with a 0.1% change in the figures the devil is in the detail.

“There are 1.1 million underemployed Australians, and close to 1.8 million Australians either unemployed or underemployed.

“Working peoples’ wages aren’t being increased as quickly as the cost of the everyday expenses everyone has to pay. Australia needs a wage rise.

“Forty per cent of people are in insecure work. We need to urgently address insecure work in Australia so that people can plan for their future and have a higher standard of living.

“We also have a growing number of people who are underemployed. This is a real problem. People cannot find enough work to simply keep their head above water.

“Attacking working people and their unions, as Minister Cash continues to do, only makes it harder to secure better wages, good steady jobs and give real depth to these small changes in the headline employment numbers.

“We urge the Minister for Employment to stop celebrating, to stop attacking working people, and to start helping people get a pay rise, secure work and the hours they need to look after themselves and their families.”