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  • Crispin Till

    Email Crispin Till

    TNQ still performing strongly with increase in full-time jobs


    Nearly 10,000 full-time jobs have been added to the Tropical North's economy over the past 12 months.

    That's according to analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics figures by local economist Pete Faulkner from Conus Business Consultancy.

    While the latest unemployment rate for August has climbed slightly to 5.6 percent (up from 5.3 percent in the previous month), that's been attributed to more people actively looking for work as the TNQ economy continues to improve.

    The statistics relate to jobs growth in a footprint that includes Cairns Regional Council, Cassowary Coast, Douglas Shire, the Tablelands, Mareeba and Yarrabah.

    "Over the course of the year we have seen 10,300 new employed positions added with an impressive 9,800 of those being full-time," Mr Faulkner said.

    "Even the August data shows a healthy 800 extra full-time positions being largely offset by a similar decline in part-time.

    "As I have been saying for a few months, we could not see the trend unemployment in Cairns falling much further while the trend participation rate continues to edge higher."



    "Over the course of the year we have seen 10,300 new employed positions added with an impressive 9,800 of those being full-time," he said.

    "Even this month's data shows a healthy 800 extra full-time positions being largely offset by a similar decline in part-time."

    Youth unemployment was also up slightly in August to 14.1 per cent, which is still above the state-wide average but is well down on the 26.4 per cent recorded a year ago.

    To the south, Townsville also saw a slight increase from earlier falls, although trend jobs increased by another 600 in August (all of which were full-time) but an increase in labour market participation saw the trend unemployment rate edge higher to 7.3 per cent (after July was revised up to 7.2 per cent).

    "Townsville has managed to add 16,200 new positions in the past 12 months yet with the unemployment rate still relatively high there is clearly scope for further improvements in coping months," he said.

    REGIONS LEADING THE WAY

    For the rest of the state, trend employment in Greater Brisbane has risen by 33,200 but full-time positions have fallen by 4,200 with trend unemployment rising by 0.9 per cent to 6.4 per cent for the year.

    In the rest of Queensland, trend employment is up by 54,000 for the year with 38,700 of those full-time positions; the trend unemployment rate has fallen by 1 per cent to 5.8%.

    Regions such as Cairns, Townsville, Mackay, Toowoomba and the Sunshine Coast have all contributed with trend employment growth of more than 7 per cent while in Greater Brisbane it languishes at 2.8 per cent year on year.

    WHICH INDUSTRIES ARE HIRING

    The ABS also released its quarterly data on industry jobs showing which sectors are employing the most people across TNQ and the state, with Conus running its own analysis on a month by month basis to give a more up-to-date snapshot.

    While the two sets of data cannot be compared directly because of the different methodology used, Mr Faulkner said the figures paint similar pictures of employment trends across industries in TNQ.

    "For example the Conus trend industry jobs data for August suggests Cairns saw a total increase in employment of 8,000 over the past four quarters," he said.

    "That compares to the Conus trend jobs data which has employment up 9,500 in the same period.

    "Considering this data set we see that the industries which saw the best growth for the year in Cairns were Accommodation & Food (up 1,500), Construction (up 3,100), Healthcare (up 1,800) and Public Administration (up 1,800).

    "Industries which saw losses were Agriculture (down 1,600) and Mining (down 1,100).

    "The largest employing industry remains the Healthcare sector (14,600 employed) with Retail Trade and Education just behind at 12,400.

    "Employment in the Construction sector sits at 12,000 which is its highest level since May 2013."

    The full Conus trend jobs data set is available by clicking here.