Jobs for all: How 45,000 people moved to Queensland but jobless rate dropped

More than 45,000 people streamed across the Queensland border in the three months to September, easily the highest on record.

Mar 17, 2022, updated Mar 17, 2022
Job creation is surging ahead of population growth

Job creation is surging ahead of population growth

The figures show that even when the departures from Queensland were included the net increase was 1300 a week, also the biggest on record.

Queensland’s population topped 5.2 million, an increase of 57,000 over the previous year. The state had the highest percentage increase of 1.1 per cent.

Even more remarkable is that while the population figure swelled, unemployment has continued to fall. It dropped in February to 4.3 per cent, the lowest since 2008 as the national level hit 4 per cent. Queensland’s rate is however, higher than all the other states, except South Australia where it blew out to 5 per cent in February.

The ABS employment data showed full-time jobs in Queensland increased in February by 23,000 and unemployment fell by 1700. Overall job numbers improved by 14,500.

Conus Consultancy economist Pete Faulkner said the figures were strong.

“Employment in Queensland is running well ahead of growth in the size of the working population and in the past six months has erased an employment shortfall which had been in place across the state since the middle of 2012,” Faulkner said.

He said female workers were at the forefront and female participation was at a record high.

The improvement was likely to put further stress on industries that were struggling to get workers and the State Government had started a program to help business.

One-off grants of $20,000 up to $200,000 would be made available to industry groups that could trial new ways of job matching, create pre-employment pathways and develop innovative resources for job seekers and employers, Employment Minister Di Farmer said.

“This fund will provide opportunities for industry groups to focus on their future and explore new ways attracting workers from new sources while also providing job seekers with new pathways and opportunities.

“Industry collaboration is key to creating long-term employment outcomes, particularly for vulnerable Queensland for our targeted groups.

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“We are now inviting industry partners who can develop and lead pilots and innovative projects that support long term-employment outcomes to apply for the Growing Workforce Participation Fund.”

The fund had a focus on supporting Queenslanders in regional communities and the Ipswich, Lockyer Valley, Logan, Moreton Bay, Scenic Rim and Somerset local government areas, who had experienced a minimum period of unemployment and identify with one of the following groups:

  • young person aged 15–24
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples
  • people with disability, or
  • long-term unemployed person.

The ABS data also showed the national unemployment level fell to 4 per cent in February 2022, the lowest unemployment rate since August 2008.

Employment increasing by 77,000 people and unemployment fell by 19,000.

Bureau spokesman Bjorn Jarvis said it was the lowest unemployment rate since August 2008 and only the third time in the history of the monthly survey when unemployment was as low as 4 per cent (February 2008, August 2008, February 2022).  Lower unemployment rates occurred in the series before November 1974, when the survey was quarterly.

“The 3.8 per cent unemployment rate for women was the lowest since May 1974. Meanwhile, the unemployment rate for men fell to 4.2 per cent, its second lowest level since November 2008 and just above the rate from December 2021 of 4.1 per cent,” he said.


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