Jobless rate on the way down
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.