Jobs spree eases pain

Townsville Bulletin - - NEWS -

AL­MOST 7 per cent of Queens­lan­ders would be un­em­ployed had the State Gov­ern­ment not gone on a pub­lic ser­vice em­ploy­ment drive, says top econ­o­mist Nick Behrens.

But a separate anal­y­sis also shows Queens­lan­ders are in­creas­ingly pen push­ers.

Mr Behrens said one of the Gov­ern­ment’s guid­ing prin­ci­ples of keep­ing the pub­lic ser­vice in line with pop­u­la­tion growth was “clearly in tat­ters’’.

If it was sus­tained Queens­lan­ders could po­ten­tially face higher taxes to pay for it.

Mr Behrens’ com­ments fol­low the re­lease of fig­ures show­ing the pub­lic ser­vice had grown by more than 3000 full­time equiv­a­lent em­ploy­ees since April for a to­tal of 215,926, with 15,000 more to be hired in the next four years.

Mr Behrens said the un­em­ploy­ment level of 6.5 per cent would have been 6.9 per cent if pub­lic ser­vant jobs had not been ex­panded. But Queens­land’s over­all jobs growth was not just in the pub­lic ser­vice.

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