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Queensland unemployment approaches lowest rate in 2 years

Unemployment has dipped to near two-year lows, according to the state government. In fact, organisations have created approximately 50,800 jobs in Queensland since February 2015, with 5,100 vacancies becoming available in November alone.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data from earlier this month showed the state’s unemployment rate fell 0.1 percentage points to 6.1 per cent last month. When seasonally adjusted, the figure was even lower at 5.9 per cent.

State Treasurer Curtis Pitt said jobseekers have secured 14,700 full-time and 36,100 part-time positions over the last 10 months. Overall, unemployment is down 0.5 percentage points since the beginning of 2015. According to Mr Pitt, this is the tenth consecutive month of job increases, and the unemployment rate has not been this low since February 2014.

“Against challenging economic conditions and volatile commodity prices this is an outstanding result for our state and we’ll be starting 2016 in fighting form to deliver further success in our state,” he commented.

Queensland encourages business investment

The treasurer said Queensland is open for business and encouraged both domestic and international investors to look towards innovative ventures that could boost the state further.

His comments followed the latest Deloitte Access Economics Queensland Business Outlook for December 2015. The report predicted Queensland would outpace all other Australian states in terms of growth this financial year.

Sectors that show particular promise include LNG, retail and construction. Current record-low interest rates and the drop in the Australian dollar’s value have both contributed to improved performances in these industries.

There could also be good news for apprentices and trainees in Queensland, as Mr Pitt emphasised the importance of generating even more job opportunities. Employment Minister Grace Grace echoed these sentiments, stating that a number of initiatives would boost vacancies over the coming years.

“That’s why we introduced a $1.6 billion Working Queensland Jobs package to increase skills and training, restore funding to TAFE and spend $200 million on critical infrastructure on our regions,” she explained.

Upcoming projects in Queensland

Ms Grace highlighted the $10.1 billion worth of capital works that is underway in 2015-16, which is expected to create 27,500 jobs.

The package will comprise of $3.9 billion on transport and roads, $1.3 billion on health and community infrastructure and $2.4 billion for energy projects.

“These are great results and reason for all of us to smile, but we know we have a lot more work to do to deliver more employment opportunities in Queensland, especially in our regions,” Ms Grace added.

By Leanne Macnamara, Public Relations Coordinator

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