While there is more than the usual uncertainty about the reliability of recent jobs data from the ABS, yesterday’s awful data for Queensland, with unemployment now at 7% seasonally adjusted, can be read as confirming the economy is pretty weak at the moment. This weakness was also apparent in the retail trade data released by the ABS earlier in the week (see Pete Faulkner’s post Retail trade jumps but QLD lags behind as we ditch print). I expect this weakness will continue for another 3-6 months at least.
The Queensland Treasurer is right to talk about the eventual economic boost to Queensland that will come from LNG exports (see Leases to help Qld jobless rate: Nicholls), but it, along with any projects associated with the Strong Choices infrastructure package, will ramp up over the next few years and won’t help the Queensland economy at the current time. Furthermore, any jobs boost from infrastructure projects would be partly offset by any job shedding as a result of leasing out assets.
Further commentary on yesterday’s labour force data is available at: