Steve Austin had a good chat with Nick Behrens from CCIQ yesterday morning on 612 ABC Brisbane, covering the economic outlook for Queensland and the Queensland Plan (What the job market in Queensland will look like in the future). Nick made a number of excellent points, particularly about how while we have had strong jobs growth our unemployment rate remains relatively high. As Nick noted, in part this is due to rising participation as people re-enter the labour market looking for work. Nick also pointed out that the larger part of the Queensland economy is outside of the so-called four pillars (construction, agriculture, tourism, and resources) and it’s actually in the non-pillar sectors that we’ll experience the largest jobs growth, such as health, education and aged care.
Incidentally, new data relating to one of the pillars, construction, was released by the ABS yesterday, and wasn’t particularly encouraging, with residential dwelling approvals in Queensland falling in June, particularly the unit component (see chart below). That said, anecdotal reports suggest the industry is doing much better than it has in recent years. However, the industry won’t return to levels seen before the financial crisis anytime soon, unless there is a big pickup in interstate migration, I suspect.