Trend employment growth powers on in Cairns

The release by th ABS of their original labour force data for May 2019 allows us to update our own Conus/CBC Staff Selection Regional Employment Trend, and it shows us Trend employment growth in Cairns continuing to power ahead with the State’s fastest employment grwoth for the year (+20.0%).

For some time we have been expecting the exceptionally strong original Cairns data to ease off and result in some downward revisions of the Trend and, although this has happened to some extent with the Trend unemployment rate (which now sits at 4.1%, after April was reviesd from 3.5% to 4.0%), this hasn’t happened. The uptick in the Trend unemployment rate, while not at all surprising, is largely down to a strong pick up in participation while employment growth soldiers on.

Across the State as a whole both Greater Brisbane and the Rest of QLD have similar results for the year to May. Trend employment grwoth in Greater Brisbane sits at 1.9% while in the Rest of Queensland it is very slightly slower at 1.8%. The Trend unemployment rate is 6.1% in Greater Brisbane and 6.0% in the Rest of Queensland. Both areas have seen all, or very nearly all, of their employment growth come in the full-time sector over the year.

To our south in Townsville there has been some sign of improvement, although Trend employment growth remains negative for the year (down 2.1%) with 2,300 fewer employed than at this time last year. Participation in Townsville has fallen over the year and it is this, rather than employment grwoth, that has also seen the Trend unemployment rate drop to 6.4%. This decline in Trend participation (which now sits at just 61.0) is masking the weakness in the labour market; any sign of people returning in numbers to the labour market is likely to see the unemployment rate move back higher again.

The full Conus/CBC Staff Selection Regional Employment Trend data 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 – May 2019

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