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2284 jobs vanished across CQ, as times get tougher

Builder handyman with construction tools. House renovation background.
Builder handyman with construction tools. House renovation background.

CENTRAL Queensland has recorded a massive fall in its number of construction jobs in the past five years.

More than 2500 jobs disappeared from Fitzroy Central West region's construction industry between 2012 and 2017, when the industry fell from a 20-year high of 14,494 positions to 11,922 this year.

 

Adam Wratten

The loss more than accounts for the region's overall job loss during this period when 2284 positions disappeared.

In 2012 the region, which encompasses Rockhampton, Gladstone and Longreach, had 124,617 positions. This fell to 122,333 this year.

Outside of construction, the Fitzroy Central West's other top industries all experienced marginal losses, except mining which had a slight increase (see graphic).

A new report details the decline in fortunes for Central Queensland during the past few years.

The State of the Regions 2017-18 Pillars of Regional Growth report was released on Sunday. It provides an insight into the performance of the Fitzroy and Central West region and benchmarks it among 67 areas across Australia.

The region's drop in jobs was also evidenced by a surge in the number of people on social security.

The report found the Fitzroy region had the second highest jump in the number of workforce-aged people claiming social security during the past five years.

The report found the Fitzroy Central West area recorded a 3.2% increase to 14.2% - second only to Mackay.

However, while Mackay's increase of 3.5% was higher, it's overall number 11.8% was still lower than Fitzroy's.

The national average was 11.7%. One of the report's co-authors Peter Hylands said the figures highlighted that job creation in the region hadn't kept pace with population growth.

The region's labour force grew from 235,000 in 2012 to 246,000 this year.

He said the construction sector had fallen "quite a lot", with the figures indicative of "not a lot of economic activity".

Wealth also dropped from an average household of $531,000 to $463,000 between 2014 and 2017. This saw the region fall from 41st of the 67 national areas to 52nd.

Mr Hylands said while it wasn't the greatest result for the region, there was no need to get "too depressed" as economies were cyclical in nature.

He said it was important local governments in the region worked together and focused on key growth areas. Also, the education sector needed to work closely with industry to ensure young people were being trained in the right areas.

Topics:  cq industry state of the regions 2017-18 pillars of regional g



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