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  • Crispin Till

    Email Crispin Till

    More people looking for work pushes state's unemployment rate up to 6%


    Employment growth in Queensland is running at a trend rate of 4.6 per cent year on year, the fastest in the nation and well ahead of the national average of 2.9 per cent.

    That's one of the headline figures from the October Labour Force data, which was released by the ABS today.

    Local economist Pete Faulkner from Conus Consultancy looked at the figures which show nationally employment was up 3,700 or 20,000 (Trend) with the headline, seasonally adjusted unemployment rate falling to 5.4 per cent (the Trend stayed stable at 5.5 per cent).

    Full-time employment was up a healthy 24,300, seasonally adjusted, and is now up 297,900 for the year; or 83.8 per cent of all employment gains.

    It was a mixed bag for Queensland, with the trend showing good news but the overall unemployment rate went up to 6 per cent, with Mr Faulkner saying the overall picture was positive in the sunshine state.

    "After a decline in employment last month, down 4,400 a rebound in October was expected," he said.

    "The rebound was duly delivered with an increase of 12,600 (seasonally adjusted) or 7,900 (Trend).

    "However, a sharpish move up in participation to 65.8 from 65.5 saw the headline unemployment rate lift to 6 per cent from 5.9 per cent."

    The Trend unemployment rate remained static at 5.9 per cent.

    "The move up in participation, while helping to push the unemployment rate higher, should be viewed as a positive; particularly given that participation now sits at its highest level since August 2014," he said.

    "While it is true that employment increase in Queensland over the past year account for fully 37 per cent of the nation’s growth (seasonally adjusted), we should also note that the state only accounted for 21 per cent of the growth in full-time employment.

    "In Queensland full-time employment makes up less than half of employment growth this year, against the national figure of almost 84 per cent.

    "The bottom line is that there is ammunition here for both Government and Opposition campaigns in the final days as we run up to the November 25 election.

    "Expect to see Government members talking up the Trend total data while the Opposition will no doubt focus on the relative weakness in full-time employment."

    The full Conus Trend is available by clicking here.