More than two years after the government’s fast-food policy was rolled out, fast food employment is surging across Australia.
Key points:The ABC has been tracking fast food job growth for the past two years, and this year’s figures show the sector is at its highest level in more than two decadesKey points Fast food hiring is up in Australia since the fast food policy was introducedIn the last two years fast food jobs have been growing at the fastest rate in nearly two decadesFast food employment in Australia has more than doubled since the country was first targeted by the federal government in 2016Fast food jobs in Australia increased by more than 7 per cent last year.
The unemployment rate dropped by 3.4 per cent to 4.9 per cent.
The fast food sector has seen a surge in hiring over the past year, with employers increasing the number of hours worked in each shift by up to 15 per cent and hiring more workers in the morning and evening shifts.
“We’re seeing a huge surge in employment and the industry is really on the up,” Labor’s economic and employment spokesman, Richard Marles, said.
“The biggest contributor to that has been the government policies, and we’re seeing that reflected in job growth.”
Mr Marles said the fast-casual sector would need to continue to expand in order to create a more stable economy, and said he was not worried about job losses.
“There are going to be people who are not working but it is going to require that we get the right number of people into the economy and that’s the way to do it,” he said.
The government’s policy has helped create an economy where many jobs are at risk of disappearing.
“In the past 12 months, there has been a big increase in the number in jobs at risk in the fast casual sector,” Mr Marles added.
“I think we’ve seen that growth reflected in the numbers.”
Mr Rudd’s first priority was to get Australians to work more hours, but fast food has proved to be a key part of his efforts.
“What we’re now seeing in the last year or so, is a boom in the job market,” Mr Rudd said.
Fast food hiring has continued to grow over the years, with the industry accounting for more than 4.2 per cent of Australia’s employment in 2016.