ABS regional labour force data for April reveal increasing unemployment in regional Queensland, particularly in Townsville and the Queensland outback, as regional Queensland endures the mining downturn and drought. Unemployment in the Queensland outback was at 10.4% in April, up from 9.9% in March, and unemployment in Townsville was at 8.9%, up from 8.3% in March, according to Queensland Treasury smoothed estimates of ABS original data (see chart below). A different set of smoothed estimates, from Pete Faulkner of Conus, suggest the situation is even worse in Townsville (April job numbers are horrible for the North):
“Townsville now has the highest level of Trend Unemployment in the State at 10.5%. The ABS original data was a shocking 13.9%!”
Rightly, the Townsville Bulletin has referred to the city’s “jobs crisis”.
Readers of this blog will know I have been concerned about the situation in regional Queensland for some time now, and that I offered some recommendations for boosting employment to the Queensland Jobs Growth Summit last month (see my post on the Summit).