Queensland Economic Advocacy Solutions

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Summary comments on Queensland’s labour market - April 2017

Today's labour market numbers were characterised by no change in the unemployment rate for Queensland during April 2017.  Qld’s unemployment rate (6.3%) continues to sit 0.6 percentage points above the National average (5.7%).

However both the number of full-time and part-time jobs are now growing after contracting across 2016.  This follows a period where there has been a steady conversion from full to part-time employment.

There has additionally been an improvement in the participation rate with more people returning to the labour market possibly signalling improved confidence in employment prospects.  The downside of this is that more people registered as being unemployed and this is the reason why the unemployment rate remained unchanged despite the jobs growth.

The outlook for Queensland’s labour market is now positive and is in line with the recent improvement in domestic economic activity across the second half of 2016. My view is that employment and an unemployment rate lags domestic economic activity by nearly six months.  

In summary, as I predicted in March 2017, Queensland's labour market is now starting to improve but generally more progress will be needed to bridge the gap to the national performance.

A cautionary note is whether the impact of Severe Tropical Cyclone Debbie takes the wind out of this improvement.  Tourism, agriculture, horticulture and the resources sectors were hit hard by the TC Debbie and will unquestionably dampen employment in May and June but this will be countered by rebuild activity that will flow for the remainder of 2017.


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