Cairns improves in March before removal of JobKeeper

The ABS original regional data for March released this morning allows us to update the Conus/CBC Staff Selection series. This shows employment growth at a slightly higher level in Greater Brisbane (+4.7% Trend and +2.8% s.a.) than in the Rest of QLD (+4.0% Trend and +2.1% s.a.) with 108,600 new Trend employment for the year.

In Cairns we have finally seen a slight improvement after some weak months. Trend employment was up 600 with full-time positions adding 1,200. Something of a bounce in participation meant that the increase in employment did little to reduce the Trend unemployment rate, which fell slightly to 6.1%. This is now unchanged from a year ago despite the fact that Trend employment is down 7,100 for the year; we’ve seen a big drop in participation in Cairns since the pre-COVID highs.

The fact that Trend youth employment is down 1,900 over the year and yet the unemployment rate in this cohort is also down (-2.8% to 12.1%) highlights the large decrease in youth participation. Perhaps not surprising when we consider that the tourism sector is traditionally such a large employer of youth in the region.

The full Conus/CBC Staff Selection Trend & s.a. 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 Trend & s.a. QLD – Mar 2021

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