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.