Regional data for May shows Greater Brisbane being hit slightly harder than the Rest of Queensland

The release today of the ABS original labour force data at the regional level allows us to update our Conus/CBC Staff Selection Regional Employment Trend series (please see the note at the start of a previous post regarding Trend data at a time of such high volatility).

While employment has fallen in Queensland by 168,000 since March the falls have been more keenly felt in Greater Brisbane than across the Rest of Queensland. In Greater Brisbane employment is now down 89,500 (-6.9%) since March while in the Rest of Queensland the fall is 86,700 (-6.8%). Annual employment is down 5.1% in Queensland, -5.7% in Greater Brisbane and -4.4% in the Rest of Queensland.

Trend unemployment continues to lift at a much slower pace than employment falls (i.e. people continue to withdraw from the labour force) and this fall in participation is mitigating some of the rise in the unemployment rate. Greater Brisbane’s unemployment rate now sits at 8.0% while in the Rest of Queensland it is 7.8%.

Of course the picture varies enormously from region to region. The Gold Coast has seen a huge drop in employment of 25,100 (-7.6%) and the Sunshine Coast has lost 15,800 (-8.7%) since March. Regions less reliant on tourism have fared much better; Toowoomba is down just 1,100 (-1.5%) and the Outback down 2,000 (-4.6%).

In our own region employment in Cairns is down 8,900 (-6.4%) since March and the unemployment rate is now up to 7.4%. In Townsville employment is down 7,900 (-6.9%) with the unemployment rate at 7.6%.

The Conus/CBC Staff Selection Regional Employment Trend data for Queensland 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 2020


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