The August jobs figures released yesterday by the ABS confirmed the Queensland economy is clearly on an upswing and jobs growth is currently strong, with through-the-year growth in employment at 3.7% compared with a national rate of 2.6% (chart 1). The unemployment rate is trending downwards, and is now at 6.0% compared with the national average of 5.6%. My feeling is the upswing is fairly broad-based, but with tourism and health, aged and disability care services being stand-out sectors.
A large fall in the seasonally-adjusted Queensland unemployment rate in August to 5.7% (from 6.2%) suggests the trend unemployment rate will continue to fall in September. This would be welcome news for the Government when the next set of figures are released in mid-October, as I expect the Government will then be in an election campaign. The Premier won’t waste much time before she calls an election after footy season has finished. Note the NRL Grand Final is on Sunday 1 October, and an early November election is highly likely.
So far, the Government can point to over 115,000 additional jobs since the last election (Chart 2).
However, the Opposition is correct to highlight the bulk of additional employed persons have been in part-time positions, with only around 21,000 additional full-time employed persons since the last election (Chart 3).
Also see Pete Faulkner’s coverage: