The Dept of Human Services has a handy list of government data at the electorate level, one of which is the number of Newstart recipients in each seat. There are currently two sets of this Newstart data available on the site, the first from 27th June 2008, and the second from 1st January 2009. We can compare the changes in Newstart over this 6 month period to see which seats are showing the largest increases in unemployment – at least on this particular metric.

What was interesting here is how Queensland is faring. If we look at all of the seats across the country which have experienced an increase in Newstart numbers of 500 or more over the 6 months, 10 of those 16 seats are in Qld, including 6 of the top 7.


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If we change the metric and rather than use the raw numbers, we look at where proportionally the numbers are changing the most by taking the percentage increase in Newstart claims for each electorate – again, of the 19 electorates that have experienced a 20% increase or more, 13 of those electorates are in Qld, including 5 of the top 7.


Queensland seems to be the place where unemployment is hitting the harderst, at least at the electorate level using Newstart data. That will probably start to play into the next Federal election campaign one would think. The NT on the other hand has ben having a serious reduction in the numbers of Newstart recipients, which really stands out compared to the rest of the country.

By State, the results for all seats look like this (click to expand):

NSW                                         VIC                                          QLD

nsw1 vic1 qld1

SA                                                WA                                   TAS/NT

sa1 wa1 nttas1

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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