Townsville Bulletin

Region adds 5000 jobs

Townsville jobless rate is lowest in eight years


THE Townsville region’s 12month average jobless rate has fallen to 5.2 per cent, its lowest level in eight years, economist Colin Dwyer says.

Mr Dwyer was commenting on the release of regional labour force data by the Australian Bureau of Statistics on Thursday.

“The Townsville region’s jobs performanc­e is outstandin­g. Job numbers have jumped to 116,600, up 5000 for the year to September,” Mr Dwyer said.

“The region has been one of the fastest job creating regions in Queensland and the country.”

The figures relate to the region including the Burdekin, Charters Towers, Palm Island, Hinchinbro­ok and Townsville.

The last time the region recorded a 5.2 per cent jobless average was in August 2013 when the mining boom was still playing out.

The jobless rate peaked in February 2017 at 11.6 per cent.

The QNI nickel refinery had closed in March 2016 causing a shockwave of job losses through the economy.

Mr Dwyer said the turning point for Townsville had been the 2016 federal election when major parties promised to contribute $100 million to a new stadium.

“We got that stadium and it created more than 1700 jobs in constructi­on,” Mr Dwyer said.

“As we got into 2018 we started to create more jobs in other significan­t constructi­on projects. We also created jobs in agricultur­e, manufactur­ing and in health and social assistance.”

Mr Dwyer said the private sector had also contribute­d to the gains including through enterprise­s like the Mater Hospital and The Ville ResortCasi­no.

“Many local organisati­ons and individual­s have contribute­d to this amazing performanc­e over the past four to five years,” he said.

Mr Dwyer said about 22,600 jobs had been added since December 2016.

He said this was after the closing of QNI, poor public investment, in part due to Gold Coast Commonweal­th Games priorities, poor mining constructi­on conditions and poor commodity prices.

Mr Dwyer said that from a

low and structural­ly compromise­d base the Townsville region had shown great resilience and determinat­ion to diversify its economy and jobs profile.

 ?? ?? Economist Colin Dwyer
Economist Colin Dwyer

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