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Queensland labour market ‘on road to recovery’

Strengthening of the employment market could result in more apprenticeships and traineeships across Queensland, as businesses look to invest in upskilling their workforces.

General Manager of Advocacy at CCIQ Nick Behrens said that while the seasonally adjusted data showed considerable improvement, it’s important jobs creation remains top of the agenda.

ABS figures showed 22,500 jobs were created in December 2014, resulting in the unemployment rate slumping from 6.8 to 6.1 per cent. However, Mr Behrens urged people to examine the trend employment series, which he argued is a more accurate reflection of Queensland’s labour market.

The trend outcomes found unemployment remained flat at 6.6 per cent, 0.4 percentage points above the national average. Furthermore, according to the data, around 8,500 jobs were added last month.

“Today’s trend numbers, while certainly not as promising as the seasonally adjusted picture, does indicate that the deterioration in our state’s labour market has bottomed out,” Mr Behrens stated.

“This is a much more accurate snapshot of where our state’s labour market truly lies.”

Resources boost

The CCIQ added that the future looks promising, particularly when Queensland’s resources industry begins to perform better.

Recent statistics from the Queensland Resources Council claimed the sector created 208,000 jobs in the 2013-14 period, with coal production employing 10 per cent of the state’s population.

“Quite simply, job-shedding in the resources sector and the associated supply chain has been countering the jobs creation that is currently occurring in the Queensland economy,” Mr Behrens explained.

“But with the flow or pass through of this trend in the resources sector, the labour market should inevitably start to improve.”

He noted that the ABS employment data supported the CCIQ’s Pre-Election Survey, which revealed economic activity and unemployment as major concerns for companies.

These two issues ranked second and ninth respectively in the poll of top commercial problems across 1,100 Queensland organisations.

The incoming government was urged to address fiscal management and the regulatory environment to encourage lower business costs and allow small enterprises to employ new staff.

“We must also cast an eye towards the horizon, equally prioritising productivity, innovation and entrepreneurship,” Mr Behrens stated.

By Leanne Macnamara, Public Affairs Coordinator

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