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  • Crispin Till

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    Employment in regional Queensland growing at fastest pace in a decade


    More than 10,500 full-time jobs have been created in Cairns in the past year, according to today's regional jobs data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

    And in more good news for Cairns, youth unemployment has stabilised to more "normal" levels and is now about 12.3 per cent, with 2,700 jobs added in the past year.

    This figure is well below the rest of Queensland and only slightly higher than in Brisbane.

    An analysis of the official data shows employment in regional Queensland is growing at the fastest pace it has been in a decade and is outstripping the figures seen in Brisbane, with TNQ economist Pete Faulkner from Conus Business Consultancy saying the biggest difference is between full-time and part-time work.

    "Over the past year, Greater Brisbane has added 38,200 to Trend employment, although all of those have been in part-time positions with full-time employment down 1,800," he said.

    "In the rest of Queensland, employment has grown by 57,700 this year with 39,000 of those in the full-time sector."

    Trend employment growth in the rest of Queensland is now at 5 per cent, which is the fastest pace in more than a decade, while employment growth in greater Brisbane is at 3.2 per cent, which is still above the national average of 2.8 per cent.

    Total employment growth in Brisbane was slightly better than regional Queensland for September.

    In TNQ, the unemployment rate is at 5.2 per cent for September and it has ranged between 5.5 per cent and 4.9 per cent over the past seven months.

    "The trend employment was stable this month but up 9,100 over the course of the year," he said.

    "As has been the case with the rest of Queensland, full-time employment has been the stand-out performing sector for Cairns with trend full-time employment up 10,500 in the past year (and about 600 this month), while part-time employment has dropped slightly.

    "Trend employment is growing at a healthy 8.2 per cent in Cairns."

    In Townsville, trend employment edged higher by 100 in September and remains up 15,500 over the past 12 months.

    "However, the trend unemployment rate is back up to 9 per cent, which may give some cause for concern," he said.

    "We should note this is on the back of a rally in participation to levels not seen in more than two years."

    Trend employment is growing at a state high of 16 per cent in Townsville.

    The full Conus trend is available by clicking here.