The Premier today announced a relatively conservative employment growth target of 209,000 new jobs over six years, which he based on Treasury advice (see LNP unveils plan for the Jobs of Tomorrow). So long as the economy doesn’t remain in its current weak state for the next six years – an unlikely prospect – this target should be achievable. In six-year periods in the past, the Queensland economy has generated many more than 209,000 jobs (see the chart below).
The new jobs target requires just under 35,000 new jobs each year and an employment growth rate of 1.4-1.5% per annum, on average. Current Queensland Treasury forecasts and projections have employment growing at 1.5% in 2014-15, 1.75% in 2015-16, and at 2.5% per annum beyond that, so the Government’s commitment appears slightly more conservative than Treasury forecasts would suggest it needs to be. Of course, with uncertainty over the economic outlook and the ageing of the population, which will gradually reduce economic and employment growth rates, it’s good to be conservative in projecting future employment growth.
The new jobs target is much more sensible and achievable than the previous 4% unemployment rate target, which I’ve previously commented on: