Based on the latest labour force figures released by the ABS yesterday, the Queensland labour market appears to be improving nicely, which must be very pleasing to the State Government in the lead up to the next election. While the unemployment rate (at 6.1 percent seasonally adjusted) remains higher than the national rate (5.5 percent seasonally adjusted), it is trending down (see chart below). This is despite a downswing in the construction sector. Luckily other sectors are growing, and I suspect tourism is a major contributor to jobs growth, particularly given much of the recent jobs growth has been part-time, as noted by John McCarthy in the Courier-Mail this morning. (Also see Pete Faulkner’s post Strong jobs numbers but full-time in QLD are at a standstill).
The major contribution of part-time jobs to recent employment growth can be clearly seen in my charts below tracking jobs growth since the last election. Here is the chart for total employment, showing an increase in total employment of around 69,200 since the last election:
But the increase in full-time employment since the last election has been nowhere near as large, with an increase of just 6,200:
Most of the additional jobs since the last election have been part-time, with an additional 63,000 part-time employed persons:
Finally, I should note the Economic Society of Australia (Qld) of which I’m the Secretary has a lunchtime event next Wednesday featuring Queensland Treasury’s chief economic forecaster Greg Uptin on the State’s economic outlook: