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  • Crispin Till

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    Employment rising across the state, including in the Public Sector


    Jobs, jobs, jobs and more jobs.

    There has been plenty of good news on the jobs front in recent months with the release of ABS data, small area labour market figures and the October Cairns Watch report all pointing to strong employment trends.

    As we head into the final days of the election campaign, Labor has been keen to stand on its job creation record, while the LNP has focused on the state going backwards and a lag in full-time work.

    So, is everything as rosy as it seems and who can you believe?

    CRUNCHING THE NUMBERS

    TNQ economist Pete Faulkner from Conus Business Consultancy has crunched the jobs data and he says the true story is there has been strong job creation across Queensland since February 2015.

    "As we run towards the last few days of the Queensland state election we’re hearing lots about employment from both the Government and the Opposition," he said.

    "There is also a certain amount of talk about the jobs growth being on the back of Public Sector hirings."

    When Campbell Newman won government in March 2012, there was 244,135 public servants in Queensland, which equalled 10.7% of the State’s Trend employment number at that time.

    By the end of 2013 that percentage was 9.9%, with a headcount of 227,836 public servants (a reduction of 16,299).

    RISES AND FALLS

    By the time the LNP lost the January 2015 election, the Public Sector headcount had risen again.

    "This data is only provided on a quarterly basis so we can either consider the number from December 2014 (235,336, 10.2%) or from March 2015 (240,372, 10.4%)," he said.

    "The new ALP Government was sworn in on February 14 2015, so we are assuming a headcount of 237,854 or 10.3% at that time.

    "By June 2016, the headcount had risen to 252,870 (or 10.8%).

    "It has since increased to 259,373 (June 2017) which remains at 10.8% of Trend employment.

    "So since the ALP Government came to power we have seen an increase of 21,519 public servants.

    "Since February 2015 (to June 2017) Queensland has added 88,300 to Trend employment.

    "Let's consider what the Public Sector headcount would have been under three alternative scenarios."

    SCENARIO 1

    The Public Sector headcount remains at the same percentage level (10.3%) as when ALP came to power in February 2015.

    This would mean there are 247,983 public servants in Queensland, which is 11,390 lower than the current level.

    SCENARIO 2

    The Public Sector headcount as a percentage of employment at 9.9% (seen under previous LNP government).

    This would mean there are 238,352 public servants in Queensland, which is 21,021 lower than the current level.

    SCENARIO 3

    The Public Sector headcount is at the same level (10.7%) as when the LNP took power in 2012.

    This would mean there are 257,613 public servants in Queensland, which is 1,760 lower than current level.

    "The 'extra' Public Sector headcount therefore lies somewhere in the region between 1,760 and 21,021; or between 2% and 24% of the total increase in Trend employment to June 2017," he said.

    "The suggestion that all the jobs increases are in the Public Sector is plainly inaccurate."