Trend unemployment lifts across QLD regions. Cairns hits 8.7%

Not surprisingly, given the poor State performance noted last week (see here for details), the labour markets across most of QLD have deteriorated in July according to the Conus/CBC Staff Selection Trend.

The Trend unemployment rate, which sits at 8.8% in QLD, lifted to 8.7% in Greater Brisbane and 9.0% in the Rest of Queensland. With Trend employment barely changed for the month (down 3,700) across the State the reason for the sharp up-tick in the unemployment rate was down to a recovery in Participation Rates as workers returned to the labour market.

In Cairns the Trend unemployment rate lifted to 8.7% with 2,500 fewer in employment than in June. Trend employment is now down 6.9% y/y. Further south in Townsville Trend employment edged lower (down 400) but the unemployment rate also lifted sharply to 8.5% as participation rebounded (although it remains at historically low levels and may well push the unemployment rate higher if workers start to return to the labour force in large numbers).

The chart below, which shows three northern regions which had similar employment levels in early 2014, demonstrates clearly how well Cairns had been doing prior to the COVID-19 event, and how much more impacted it has been in recent months.

The full Conus/CBC Staff Selection Regional Employment data set 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 s.a. & Trend QLD – July 2020

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