Following on from the Sept Conus Trend Regional QLD labour force data there has been some discussion among readers (and on Twitter) regarding the impact of the Gold and Sunshine Coast changes in employment on the noted divergence between Greater Brisbane and Rest of Queensland full time positions (see the final chart in last week’s post).
It’s certainly true that over the past 12 months both the Gold and Sunny Coasts have seen substantial Trend employment declines and that these have been the main driver behind the drops in the Rest of Queensland numbers over that period. However, as the chart below makes clear, over the past decade its been the growth in those two regions that has been the driver behind the divergence between SEQ (Greater Brisbane plus Gold and Sunshine Coasts) and the “Bush” (Rest of Queensland less the Gold and Sunshine Coasts…hat tip to Mark Beath for the name).
Despite the more recent declines in the Gold and Sunny Coast numbers, the SEQ full time total remains close to all time highs and is up 7.7% from ten years ago. The Bush has been steadily declining for three or four years and now sits 0.3% below where it was ten years ago. The most recent divergence may well be down to falls in SEQ (in particular Gold and Sunshine Coast) but that does not detract from the relative struggle the “Bush” has been experiencing over the past decade.