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    Cairns jobs market hits rocky territory with unemployment rate rising

    Confidence in the future of the Cairns economy isn't translating to jobs growth, with the local unemployment rate climbing to 7.5 per cent, the highest level since August 2016.

    The latest Conus/CBC Staff Selection Employment Trend analysis of April figures showed the Cairns unemployment rate was now significantly higher than the state average of 6.3 per cent.

    Despite cranes on the skyline and projects in progress like the Crystalbrook Collection hotels and Nova City, the total workforce was down by 1200 jobs in April compared to the month before, nearly all of them full-time positions.

    The only silver lining in the latest figures was a drop in the median length of time people are looking for work, down to 20 weeks.

    Conus Consultancy economist Pete Faulkner said youth unemployment was now sitting at 17 per cent, significantly higher than the regional average of 13.5 per cent.

    "Unfortunately, the improvement that we had been seeing in full-time employment appears to have evaporated in recent months with full-time positions now down 5,400 for the year," Mr Faulkner said.