Public Sector employment in Queensland fell last quarter; second quarter of annual declines

Despite some of commentary that still runs along the lines of “Queensland’s jobs growth is all down to the State Govt hiring“, the latest data from the ABS for the quarter to Feb shows that reality is actually quite the reverse, at least over the course of the past 18 months.

Looking at the original ABS data through the lens of the Conus Trend we see that Public Sector employment in Queensland fell by 3.1% y/y while the Private Sector increased by 3.6% for a total increase across the State of 2.5%. This is the second quarter in which the annual rate has been negative for the Public Sector (it fell 1.3% in the year to November). Over the past 18 months Public Sector employment is unchanged while the Private Sector has increased by 3.8%.

Over the course of the past five years things look very different; Public Sector employment is up 24.2% over those 5 years while Private Sector increased by just 8.8%, for a total increase of 10.8%.

The recent moves are in sharp contrast to NSW where Public Sector employment is up 11.3% this year while the Private Sector has increased just 0.3% for a total cross both sectors of 1.7%.

Note, as the ABS say…”The estimates in this release may differ from other available information due to differences in coverage and/or the classification of organisations.” For example, the latest Queensland Government release of Public Sector Workforce data to June 2019 estimated the increase in State employee at 2.1% while this series, back in August 2019, was showing the increase at just 1.6%. We are still awaiting the (much delayed) Queensland Government release of Public Sector Workforce data to Sept 2019.

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