SALM shows Mareeba Shire as the best performer in FNQ

The Dept of Employment recently released the latest Small Area Labour Market (SALM) data at the Local Government Area level for the quarter to December.

Using the unsmoothed (original) SALM data, which is tucked away in the explanatory notes section, we have created a Conus SALM Trend series of unemployment rates and derived employment for all the QLD LGAs.

This shows us that the Queensland LGA with the highest Trend unemployment rate (excluding Aboriginal councils) was Charters Towers Regional Council at 11.7% (which is down from 12.9% a year earlier) with Isaac Regional Council the lowest at 1.6% (down from 2.1% a year earlier).

While the SALM data does not explicitly provide employment data it can be derived from the Labour Force and Unemployment data that is provided (although we acknowledge that the different methodologies used for the estimation of unemployment and Labour Force data make such a derivation problematic we consider that the estimated Trend based on this derivation provides a useful, albeit limited, indicator for employment trends). Once we create a Conus Trend for this derived data series we are able to get some idea of where employment gains are being made within the broader region.

For the wider “Cairns” region (the LGAs of Cairns, Cassowary Coast, Douglas, Tablelands, Mareeba and Yarrabah are only an approximation for the Cairns SA4 region, particularly as a large portion of Mareeba Shire falls outside Cairns SA4) this analysis suggests that jobs growth for the year to Dec 2017 has been made up in the following proportions from the various LGAs within the region (note is made where these percentages deviate from population percentages). This suggests that Mareeba Shire and Yarrabah have been the areas performing somewhat better than might be expected while the Cassowary Coast and Tablelands have disappointed.

Cairns Regional Council +2,274 – 64%
Cassowary Coast Regional Council +310 – 9% (below 12% population share)
Tablelands Regional Council +295 – 8% (below 10% population share)
Mareeba Shire Council +417 – 12% (above 9% population share)
Douglas Shire Council +157 – 4% (slightly below 5% population share)
Yarrabah Council +124 – 3% (above than 1% population share, but beware of volatile data in such a small sample)

The Conus SALM Trend unemployment rates across the region in Dec were (with Sept in brackets);

Cairns Regional Council – 5.5% (5.3%)
Cassowary Coast Regional Council – 5.5% (5.6%)
Tablelands Regional Council – 6.3% (6.1%)
Mareeba Shire Council – 8.6% (8.7%)
Douglas Shire Council – 4.3% (4.4%)
Yarrabah Council – 46.4% (45.9%)

Townsville City Council sees the Trend unemployment rate at 9.1%, which is an increase from 8.8% in Sept (which was in turn revised up from 8.2%).

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