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Jobs growth in Queensland offset by unemployment figures

The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) employment data showed Queensland experienced jobs growth in January, but a leading industry organisation has called for more to be done to achieve long-term sustainability.

According to the ABS figures, there were an additional 9,600 jobs available in Queensland last month in trend terms. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) said the result was good news for the economy although unemployment also increased.

Nick Behrens, CCIQ Director of Advocacy, said the labour market has improved, but strong domestic activity is required to maintain positive figures.

“In seasonally adjusted terms, the unemployment rate actually rose in Queensland to 6.4 per cent (from 5.9 per cent in December) with an extra 13,700 Queenslanders registered as unemployed,” he explained.

Nevertheless, trend term data showed the number of people in the state without a job remained at 6.1 per cent.

“It is important to remember that in trend terms the Queensland labour market has performed strongly over the last year, with a lower Australian dollar boosting employment in our tourism and service industries,” Mr Behrens added.

However, he said business investment is on the decline and called for more infrastructure spending to sustain Queensland’s healthy growth in 2015.

New jobs in Queensland

Queensland Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the ABS data showed business confidence is up, and the state is enjoying economic stability. He said 71,700 jobs in Queensland have been created over the last 12 months, which is the equivalent of almost 6,000 a month or 200 a day.

“The 71,700 jobs created in the past year consists of a rise of 28,300 in full-time jobs and a 43,400 rise in part-time employment,” he stated.

Mr Pitt added that the ABS figures were released soon after National Australia Bank published a survey showing Queensland businesses are the most confident in the country.

Positive sentiment among the state’s organisations often has a positive effect on recruitment, which can also boost opportunities for apprentices and trainees.

Optimism appears to be trickling down to jobseekers, Mr Pitt suggested. He noted that labour participation climbed from 65.2 to 66 per cent between January 2015 and this year, emphasising confidence in job-creation efforts.

Mr Behrens said the ABS figures indicated that healthcare and social services, accommodation, food services and education and training were the sectors that saw the highest increases in employment last month.

By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator

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