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Manufacturing job losses hurting Victoria: Commsec

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Rising unemployment is damaging Victoria’s outlook as other economic indicators are looking good, a report has found.

The Age reports that, according to research by CommSec, six out of eight top economic indicators -  economic growth, retail spending, construction work, population growth, housing finance and dwelling starts - are above their 10-year average.

However, unemployment in Victoria is at 6.5 per cent. This is the worst result since January 2002 and nearly 25 per cent higher than the 10-year average for the state.

CommSec chief economist Craig James said, "The thing holding Victoria back at the moment is the restructuring going on in manufacturing.

 "Job losses in manufacturing are going to have to be absorbed into other areas of the economy."

He suggested the Victorian government could increase infrastructure projects as a way to deal with unemployment.

As the Herald Sun reports, Mr James said the state’s strong housing sector would minimise the pain of job losses in manufacturing.

“Victoria has still got good strength being provided by the housing sector, but the state is being weighed down by job losses, particularly in the manufacturing sector,” he said.

“It is a time of adjustment for the Victorian economy and I think housing will provide a buffer for the state through that.”

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