Surfers Riding Welfare Wave

Aussie pols crack down on the unemployed
By Asta Hostetter,  Newser User
Posted Sep 23, 2007 11:10 AM CDT
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(Newser) – Getting surfers off the beach and into the job market is a top priority for Australia's  conservative government. The country is enjoying its lowest unemployment rate in years, just above 4%, but it seems a disproportionate number of those receiving welfare benefits live in sunny coastal areas with more opportunities for catching waves than jobs, the BBC reports.

Fifteen years of strong growth has created a booming job market, but the uneven distribution of workers and skills shortages have made the economy increasingly dependent on immigrants, recruited by the government, to fill jobs. One proposed measure is to require work for welfare benefits sooner than it's now mandated.