Job­less rate on the way down

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS - TONY RAGGATT tony. raggatt@ news. com. au

THE Townsville re­gion’s un­em­ploy­ment rate fell to 8.7 per cent in June.

The Aus­tralian Bureau of Sta­tis­tics re­leased its de­tailed labour force data yesterday show­ing the job­less rate for the north­ern re­gion based on Townsville fell from 10.2 per cent in May to 8.7 per cent in June.

The size of the labour force fell to 107,000, from 107,600 in the pre­vi­ous month, while the num­ber of peo­ple reg­is­tered as un­em­ployed was 10,200, down from 12,300 in May.

Townsville economist Colin Dwyer said the fall in the job­less rate was en­cour­ag­ing news, but he stressed the need for ma­jor projects to boost ac­tiv­ity and cre­ate more jobs.

“We need more at­ten­tion from the State Gov­ern­ment in projects and more con­fi­dence that projects like the sta­dium in the CBD is go­ing to go ahead,” Mr Dwyer said.

“That pro­ject will cre­ate over 500 jobs in con­struc­tion.

“We need to take ad­van­tage of the emerg­ing busi­ness fund that came out of this week’s State bud­get and use the fund­ing ap­pli­ca­tions that are avail­able through the Fed­eral Gov­ern­ment’s North­ern Aus­tralia White Pa­per.”

Mr Dwyer said de­vel­op­ment of a baseload power sta­tion in the re­gion sup­ply­ing com­pet­i­tively priced power was some­thing that would make a dif­fer­ence to jobs and eco­nomic growth.

“We have most of the in­gre­di­ents to make for sus­tain­able eco­nomic growth but the key in­gre­di­ent miss­ing is com­pet­i­tively priced baseload power.”

Mr Dwyer said Townsville also needed to im­prove its tourism ap­peal.

“Some of the sta­tis­tics have shown that the num­ber of tourists com­ing into the Townsville re­gion has dropped off in the last year,” Mr Dwyer said.

“We are en­ter­ing the peak tourist sea­son, so we should have seen a pick- up in the num­ber of women in em­ploy­ment be­cause they tend to get more work in tourism in ar­eas such as the res­tau­rant in­dus­try and hos­pi­tal­ity.”

In other North Queens­land mar­kets, the job­less rate in the Cairns re­gion fell to 8 per cent, down from 9.8 per cent in May, while bureau warned the sam­ple size at Mackay, which was re­ported as hav­ing a job­less rate of 6.6 per cent, was too small to be re­li­able.

The un­em­ploy­ment rate for Queens­land was re­ported as 5.9 per cent, down from 6.2 per cent the pre­vi­ous month.

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