We have been working on completing the data set for Conus Trend unemployment rates for all the SA4 regions in Queensland by age groups and have now completed it. What the full data set shows us is an interesting look into the make-up of the unemployment challenge facing the State. We have used three age groupings; Youth (15-24 years), Middle (25-44 years) and Older (45+ years). Below we list the worst 6 regions in each age grouping as at May 2016 (latest data) based on the Conus Trend.
|Youth||Unemployment rate||Middle||Unemployment rate||Older||Unemployment rate|
|Wide Bay||22.2||Wide Bay||8.8||Ipswich||6.9|
|Moreton Bay-North||19.8||Cairns||8.7||Moreton Bay-North||5.5|
We need to bear in mind that the size of the labour forces is each age grouping are very different. The Middle group is between 2.5 and 3 times as large as Youth; while Older is between 2.1 and 2.7 times larger than Youth. Obviously therefore, the rates of unemployment in the Middle and Older cohorts have a larger impact on total unemployment rates than does Youth. It is therefore not surprising, given that Townsville appears in second place in both these larger groups that it features so badly as a whole; total unemployment in Townsville stands at 11.0% (behind only Outback at 11.1%). Cairns is in third place at 10.1% (solely on the back of its very high Youth unemployment rate) with Wide Bay (9.5%), Ipswich (9.2%) and Moreton Bay-North (8.4%) coming along behind.