The March labour force data released yesterday by the ABS show the Queensland unemployment rate has stabilised at around 6.5%, which, while relatively high (see chart above), is not too bad from a historical perspective, as I’ve noted before (Don’t panic about unemployment just yet – still below long-run average). The Queensland economy is currently adjusting to the big shock caused by the end of the mining boom, but I expect the labour market will begin to strengthen later in the year and that, hopefully, the unemployment rate will fall to be closer to the national average.
I’m very optimistic about the prospects for jobs growth in the services sector, particularly in health and aged care, underpinned by the massive growth in the population of seniors (see the informative new Qld Treasury report Qld Seniors), and also in tourism, which is being aided by a lower exchange rate than in previous years. I’ll talk more about these factors in my upcoming presentation on the end of the mining boom.
Other commentary on the March labour force data is available from Queensland Treasury (Labour Force) and Pete Faulkner (Jobs data beats expectations).
What percentage of these jobs are private vs public sector?
Not sure the economy should be relying on ‘looking after the elderly’ as an industry – funded by tax dollars – after the overhead of government is removed.
I agree. It is hardly a good sign when the greatest hope for jobs growth is also a drain on the taxpayer.
Quit agree. Just where does the money come from to pay the health service workers? Qld like WA spent the boom on often unproductive assists and in reality did not build replacement or additional economic pillars. It won’t be a depression but very slow growth from now on it based on the old, low wage stalwarts of tourism & ag.
Yes, there are substantial subsidies from government, so, yes, it’s not necessarily a good thing for the economy that there will be a lot of growth in the sector. Obviously growth will need to come from a broader range of sectors in the long-run.
Hopefully we do adjust to the end of the mining boom ok Gene.
But I think it’s to early to call any successful adjustment. The mining boom has not really ended as such any more than bright midday sunshine turns to pitch-black night in the blink of an eye. Mining has deteriorated from it’s historically high peak but it is still making a far larger contribution than any other time pre-2005. It’s likely to spend the next two or three years winding down, probably with significant falls interspersed with plateaus.
If we’re still doing ok come Christmas 2017 then we should pull through ok I would think.
Thanks, HH. Good point picking up the imprecision with referring to the end of the mining boom. I think it’s been used as a shorthand for the shift from the investment to production phase which was always going to occur as well as the drop in global commodity prices which has reduced earnings from mining as well as rendering some projects unviable. I’ll think about another label.