Regional employment data shows Trends in Cairns very strong (again)

The ABS original regional labour force data for April allows us to update our own Conus/CBC Staff Selection Trend series.

With the Trend unemployment rate in Queensland dropping slightly in April to 5.9% (from 6.0%) we might have expected some modest imprivements in our regional data. The Trend unemployment rate in Greater Brisbane remains unchanged at 6.1%, with Trend employment growing by 2,400 for the month and at a rate of 1.4% for the year. In the Rest of Queensland the Trend unemployment rate has also remained stable at 5.7%, with Trend employment up 2,800 and at a rate of 1.9% for the year (annual Trend employment growth across QLD was +1.6% according to the ABS).

As the chart below makes clear, full-time employment is growing at a similar pace across the State.

When we look to the north we see that Cairns, once again, has performed very well. Trend employment in the Cairns SA4 region was up 1,600 for the month. Over the course of the past 12 months 20,200 has been added to Trend employment at a rate of 18.2% pa. New employment has been predominantly in full-time positions, which are up 16,300, while part-time growth has accounted for just 3,900 over the year. The Trend unemployment rate has been falling for more than a year and now sits at 3.5% (down from 3.6% in March).

To our south, in Townsville, the picture is very different. Here Trend employment fell by 700 during the month and is now down 4,500 for the year at a rate of -4.1% pa. Almost all (4,200) of the employment losses have been in the full-time sector. The Trend unemployment rate in Townsville now sits at 8.0%, the 4th highest in the State. Youth unemployment, at 18.9%, is a particular concern.

The full data set of the Conus/CBC Staff Selection Regional Employment Trend is available for download below. Please feel free to use this data but kindly acknowledge Conus/CBC Staff Selection when you do so.

Conus/CBC Staff Selection Regional Employment Trend QLD – Apr 2019


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