According to ABS regional labour force data, the latest batch of which was released today, the rise in Queensland’s unemployment rate over 2012 was driven by a weakening labour market in the Brisbane metro area – a deterioration which was only slightly offset by an improving labour market in the rest of Queensland (see chart below). This was possibly because the public sector job cuts have been largely confined to administrative jobs in the Brisbane metro area – a sensible strategy given this is where the inefficiencies are likely to exist.
Pete Faulkner has coverage of the Far North Queensland data: FNQ unemployment rate edges higher but the news is positive. However, I’m much less confident than Pete that we can read much into the highly volatile data at the statistical region level. KS at Loose Change also has coverage of today’s FNQ data (FNQ employment at a new monthly high).