Coal is still a global powerforce. Picture: Sean Gallup/Getty Images
Coal is still a global powerforce. Picture: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Need a job? This is the place to be

IF you want a job in Queensland it appears the sugar cane capital of Mackay is the place to be.

New jobs data has revealed the city's unemployment rate has dropped from 4.8 per cent to 3.5 per cent over the past 12 months while overall job numbers remained stable.

Mackay also has the lowest youth jobless rate in Queensland at 6.5 per cent, which is half the statewide average and much better than the fancied Brisbane market.

The figures come as Queensland carries the inauspicious title as the nation's unemployment capital after falling behind fellow resources state, Western Australia.

The latest jobs data broken down into regions has revealed wildly different circumstances between cities and debunks the notion that the southeast Queensland corner is an employment paradise.

 

Latest job figures for Queensland
Latest job figures for Queensland

Mackay's halcyon times are in contrast to Queensland's two biggest tropical cities - Cairns and Townsville.

The number of jobs in Cairns has shrunk by 1000 over the last 12 months, pushing up the unemployment rate to 6.3 per cent.

And attempts to prop up Townsville's lacklustre economy through a public spending bonanza have only worked to keep the city's unemployment rate stable at 8.9 per cent, well above the statewide figure of 6.1 per cent.

The figures show there are 5500 more jobs in Townsville now than 12 months ago but almost 1000 additional people on the city's unemployment queue.

However, the conventional wisdom that Queensland's job market is a tale of two states, with the regions struggling while the southeast corner prospers, is waning.

In the greater Brisbane area, the Ipswich and Logan jobs markets improved slightly as jobs growth outpaced unemployment.

 

Latest job figures for Queensland
Latest job figures for Queensland

 

However, the jobless rate jumped from 7.5 per cent to 8.9 per cent in Moreton Bay, putting the area in the same league as much-maligned Townsville.

The Gold Coast is the southeast corner's hottest jobs market with 17,400 extra positions created in 12 months and a jobless rate of 4.3 per cent, which is below the nation figure of 5.1 per cent.

However, the Sunshine Coast's unemployment rate leapt from 4.8 per cent to 6.4 per cent despite more than 7000 extra jobs being created.

Treasurer Jackie Trad said Queensland's jobs growth was 3.2 per cent, almost double population, and 15 of the state's 19 labour markets grew job numbers.

"This tells us that our focus on investment attraction, infrastructure spending and programs like Back to Work; Skilling Queenslanders for Work and the Works for Queensland initiative with councils is working," she said.

 

Latest job figures for Queensland
Latest job figures for Queensland

 

"While some regions are responding quicker than others, the gap between the southeast Queensland and regional unemployment rates has narrowed significantly since early 2017."

However, Opposition treasury spokesman Tim Mander said Queensland's economy clearly wasn't firing on all cylinders.

"Adding five new taxes, compounded with dwindling business confidence are clear examples of Labor's policy failures," he said.

"You don't even have to drive far out from the Brisbane CBD to find areas of unacceptably high unemployment, contributing to Queensland persistently having the worst unemployment rate in the nation."



Works stop for festive season, return January

Works stop for festive season, return January

The busy thoroughfare recorded an average of 15,000 vehicles a day

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