Queensland’s quiet jobs boom

New report shows service industry jobs growth outstripping mining job losses.

Despite record job losses in the mining sector, employment in Queensland is growing strongly with service industries leading the way, according to a new report released today by The Australia Institute.

Queensland’s service industries were standout performers in recent years, and are expected to contribute the majority of jobs through to the end of the decade.

Health and community services, education, professional services and tourism-related services each grew over the last two years. Each created more new jobs that were lost from mining in that period.

Figure 1. Employment change in selected industries, Queensland, two years to Nov 2015

qld job growth 1

Source: ABS Cat no. 6291.0.55.003 Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly

Tom Swann, Researcher at The Australia Institute and report co-author, said “The ABS data show that after some volatile years, there have been marked improvements. Last year jobs growth in Queensland hit a seven year high, the unemployment rate fell, and all this while the participation edged upwards and the mining industry shed a record amount of jobs.”   

“Most of the growth has come from services, which already provide four in five jobs in Queensland. These industries are well placed to contribute new jobs in coming years.”

“The easing of the high dollar and cost pressures associated with the phase out of mining construction creates a really positive situation for jobs growth in many industries in Queensland.”

After outlining trends in employment data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the report outlines the projections of jobs growth from the Commonwealth Department of Employment, showing growth in most industries, in particular from services.

Figure 2: Projected employment change in QLD by industry, five years to Nov 2019

qld job growth 2

Source: Department of Employment, 2015, Employment projections – five years to November 2019

“There is also good news for the construction and manufacturing industries,” Swann continued.

“While mining related construction is falling, building related construction is projected to grow strongly. While some parts of the manufacturing industry are projected to decline, Food Product manufacturing, by far the biggest manufacturing industry in Queensland, is expected to grow.”

The report comes ahead of the Queensland Jobs Growth Summit 2016 will be held at Queensland’s Parliament House on April 26th, co-hosted by The Australia Institute and the University of Queensland School of Economics. Keynote speakers include the Deputy Premier, Treasurer, Environment Minister, Minister for Employment, and leaders from key industries.

“While the opportunity for further jobs growth is clear, turning that prospect into a reality will be the goal of the summit,” Swann said.

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