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  • Gavin King

    TropicNow editor

    Email Gavin King

    Cairns tourism boom finally starts filtering through to jobs market

    TropicNow takes a closer look at the latest data in Rick Carr's Cairns Watch report for October, with some overdue good news for local employment.


    For the first time in a long time during this current tourism boom, we're finally starting to see new jobs being created.

    The latest Cairns Watch report by Herron Todd White released this afternoon shows an additional 2500 people have gained employment since September 2015.

    The new figures will be welcomed by business leaders, who have been lamenting the lack of jobs growth despite soaring visitor numbers and significant investments in infrastructure by reef operators and hotels.

    Herron Todd White's Rick Carr latest report reveals positive results for employment, Cairns Airport and house prices, while building approvals and residential land sales remain flat.

    "The Cairns economy has finally received some good news on the labour market front, with positive trends now in evidence for job ads and employment, and a reducing trend evident in the rate of unemployment, " Mr Carr said in his report.

    "The key now is to ensure these trends are sustained. 

    "In our estimation, and after accounting for normal seasonal effects, the regional employment trend has now started to rise, to reach 109,200 persons employed in September 2016.

    "This represents an additional 2,500 persons employed since September 2015."

    Other key stats from the latest Cairns Watch report:

    • Cairns median house price trend rose mildly to $399,700 in August 2016, 2.6 percent lower than it was in August 2015
    • Median unit price trend also rose slightly to $223,400 in August 2016, a 2.3 percent increase since August 2015
    • Median land price trend rose to $227,700 in August 2016, on the back of compositional effects from increased near-city land sales
    • Cairns weighted average median rent has increased from $385 to $390 per week for houses, and from $275 to $285 per week for units over the past 12 months

    Cairns Watch figures confirm the airport is maintaining strong year-on-year growth at both the international and domestic terminals.

    "Over the twelve months to September 2016, passenger numbers have increased in trend terms by 3.9 percent at the domestic terminal, 8.8 percent at the international terminal, and 4.5 percent overall.

    "Cairns Airport comment that there has been an extra 2,670 flights to/from Cairns during the past year. In addition, the use of larger aircraft on existing flights has added 95,800 seats over the year, the equivalent of 550 more Boeing 737 flights to/from Cairns each year."