by Paul Bidmeade

South Australia had the highest rate of unemployment in the nation for the month of April, with a 0.7 per cent jobless rate increase.

South Australia’s unemployment rate is now 7.1 per cent, which is fractionally behind Tasmania at 7.3 per cent.

South Australia and Tasmania’s unemployment rate and low population growth go hand in hand.

Tasmania is growing at 0.3 per cent, while South Australia is narrowly in-front at 0.9 per cent.

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Without attracting and keeping migrants in SA and Tasmania, both their economies’ will remain stagnated.

Tasmania has recognised the importance of migration to lowering unemployment and has set a population strategy which hopes to generate jobs, grow their economy and improve their standard of living.

For South Australia, migration has always been sold with images of people drinking wine over lush green hills and 300 days of sun to enjoy the long stretches of beaches.

Yet from 2002 to 2013 a darker picture of South Australia’s ability to keep migrants from moving interstate was painted.

Between 2002 and 2013, SA lost 34,000 net migrants interstate.

At the time, State Opposition Leader Steven Marshall said “that is 34,000 people not working, buying houses, shopping, eating out, or educating their children here. That is 34,000 of our best and brightest all of whom have chosen to live, work and raise a family somewhere else.”

SA isn’t keeping up with Australia’s population growth.

In 2014, the Australian population grew by 354,600 people. Of the 354,600 people that increased Australia’s population, South Australia’s population only grew by 14,300 people.

Without a thriving economy and less red tape on migration, SA’s jobless rate will be like an April Fools’ joke that never ends.

We need a targeted economic migration program to create more jobs.

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