WHILE almost 7000 new jobs were created during the past year, Ipswich trails other Southeast regions for annual employment growth.
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Regional Employment data, 6700 more jobs were created in Ipswich when compared with 12 months ago. But the Logan-Beaudesert region leads the way, with more than 14,000 more people in work this year than at the same time last year.
Over the past 12 months Townsville recorded 8700 new jobs, Cairns 7800, Toowoomba 5400, Mackay 5400 and Gold Coast 8300.
Ipswich Mayor Andrew Antoniolli said employment growth was good for the community, but acknowledged not all areas would be basking in optimism.
"It depends on what sort of business you're in as to the degree of positivity but certainly some business sectors are quite enthusiastic and happy with the way things are going," he said.
"Other sectors are a little bit ambivalent or negative so certainly one of the things I would like to think is we can improve on that 6000 in 2018."
Queensland had the highest annual employment growth rate in the nation at 4.8 per cent, followed by the Australian Capital Territory at 3.9 per cent and Victoria at 3 per cent.
State Minister for Employment Shannon Fentiman said the regional employment data was positive.
"Christmas in 2017 looks a lot brighter for families right across the state with Queensland seeing the strongest jobs growth in the country over the past 12 months and much of that jobs growth has been outside Brisbane," she said.
For Queensland, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate remained steady at 5.9 per cent.
Australia's unemployment was also steady at 5.4 per cent, while the underemployment rate dropped 0.1 points to 8.7 per cent. Ms Fentiman promised more would be done to support employment opportunities for Queenslanders next year.
"We know there are a lot of families still doing it tough after the downturn in the resources sector and we will be ramping up our efforts to support employment and training opportunities for people," she said.
From January 1 the government will offer payments of up to $20,000 for businesses to take on mature-age workers through its Back to Work program.
Youth unemployment is also down across Queensland. The gap between regional and Southeast Queensland unemployment rates also narrowed in the past year from 2.3 points in November last year to 1.4 points in November this year.
Barista's cup of success
WALK the streets, approach employers and show them how eager you are to be hired for a job.
Those tips come straight from new Ipswich coffee specialist, Kloe-Jayne Thomas.
This year Ms Thomas secured a job at Dancing Bean Roastery on Brisbane Street.
A personal situation saw the 25-year old return to Ipswich from Melbourne earlier this year, forcing her to look for employment.
It took about four weeks for her to find the casual job, which she hopes will eventually lead to more hours.
"There are a lot of jobs advertised that are around, it's just about approaching them in the right way and presenting yourself in the right way I think is the hardest part," she said.
"Don't give up, just keep looking."
She described the search for work in Ipswich as "pretty cruisey".
"I spent two days a week walking around handing out resumes and I'd do a little bit online as well," she said.
"I think face-to-face interaction is really good.
"If you've been in once and you really like the place go back and show your face and say, I was here last week and I want to let you know I'm still really keen - even if it's just one day a week."
A growing customer base and persistence by Ms Thomas meant managers of the roastery were happy to give her a casual job.
Coming from Melbourne, it is no surprise Ms Thomas can make a good coffee - but she said working at Dancing Bean Roastery had expanded her skills.
"I've worked in hospitality making coffee for the last seven or eight years so when I saw a local roastery here I thought it could really be a great opportunity just to learn a lot more about coffee," she said.
Ms Thomas acknowledged the transition out of eateries to more permanent employment could be tough.
"I think hospitality skills aren't as well recognised in other industries as I feel like they could or should be," she said.