Concerns over increase in Queensland unemployment
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) welcomes the release of ABS data showing an increase of 9600 jobs in Queensland during January.
CCIQ Director of Advocacy Nick Behrens said the figures were positive, but were unfortunately offset by the increase in the number of unemployed Queenslanders.
“In seasonally adjusted terms, the unemployment rate actually rose in Queensland to 6.4 per cent (from 5.9 per cent in December) with an extra 13,700 Queenslanders registered as unemployed,” he said.
In trend terms, the Queensland unemployment rate remained unchanged at 6.1 per cent.
“It is important to remember that in trend terms the Queensland labour market has performed strongly over the last year with a lower Australian dollar boosting employment in our tourism and service industries,” Mr Behrens said.
“However, CCIQ continues to highlight that the underlying improvement in our state’s labour market cannot be sustained without strong domestic economic activity that has unquestionably stalled.
“Growth in employment came from healthcare and social services, education and training, and accommodation and food service sectors.
“The depreciation of the Australian dollar has provided a material boon to the state’s tourism sector spilling over into other sectors such as restaurants and food services.
“At the same time, expansionary monetary policy settings have boosted discretionary income serving to support retail sales in Queensland.”
Mr Behrens said Queensland’s domestic economy was contracting with State Final Demand over the year to the September quarter falling by 2.5 per cent with “business investment in free fall”.
“With employment growth and the unemployment rate both lag indicators it is inevitable that unless economic activity lifts the remarkable resilience of the Queensland’s labour market across 2015 cannot be sustained,” he said.
“The Queensland business community is calling on the government to commit to prioritising infrastructure spending in the upcoming State Budget to cement in jobs and domestic economic growth.”