This month again sees employment improving in Cairns. Participation improved slightly (+0.3 ppts) and the Conus/CBC Staff Selection Trend unemployment rate is now at 5.0%, which is a little above the Queensland average of 5.2%.
Annual Trend employment growth has turned positive (+3.2%) although this is still relatively weak when compared to +9.1% for QLD (s.a.), +9.4% in Greater Brisbane and +7.3% for the Rest of Queensland.
Despite employment having risen by only 4,100 over the year the unemployment rate remains low due to only a modest increase in participation (+0.2 ppts over the year). There have been job losses in the youth sector (-1,700) with gains in the middle-aged (+5,200) and older (+700) cohorts. In the youth sector the unemployment rate has fallen sharply (to 11.3% from 15.1% a year ago) despite these employment losses; this points to a sharp reduction in the participation rate in this cohort as young people remove themselves from the labour force. This is hardly surprising given the reliance in this age group to employment in the heavily impacted tourism industry.
Note that full-time jobs are now up 8,600 for the year being partly offset by a decline (-4,500) in part-time positions.
In Townsville the pace of Trend employment growth is much stronger (+8.1% y/y) with 8,800 more people now employed that a year ago. The Trend unemployment rate has also fallen sharply and now sits at just 4.5%.
The full Conus/CBC Staff Selection Trend data series is available for download below. Please feel free to use this data but kindly acknowledge Conus/CBC Staff Selection when you do.