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Queensland Economic Advocacy Solutions

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Gains of the past three years have bypassed many unemployed Queenslanders

The Australian Bureau of Statistics labour market numbers for July 2018 reveal solid employment growth on one hand but gains having bypassing our State's unemployed on the other.

Queensland's stubborn unemployment rate has been unable to consistently break through the six per cent barrier and contrasts with a national unemployment rate that is steadily tracking towards what would be considered close to full employment.

Over the past 12 months the national unemployment rate has decreased from 5.6 per cent to 5.4 per cent where as the Sunshine State's unemployment rate has remained steady at 6.1 per cent.  If we compare over a 36 month period the separation between Queensland's unemployment rate and the national rate is even more apparent.  Three years ago the national rate was 6.1 per cent the same as Queensland's, now its 0.7 per cent lower where as our rate is pretty much unchanged.  

Quite simply we are not making the gains in reducing our unemployment rate that is being experienced in other States.  

The challenge for Queensland is that employment growth is occurring but it is also starting to ease.  QLD's 12 month growth to July 2018 was 2.2% and has now slipped below the 20 year long term trend and compares to New South Wales (3.2 per cent) and Victoria's 2.5 per cent.

At the same time there is a steady reentry into the workforce as Queenslanders register as unemployed and we have southerners moving here and either soaking up some of the newly minted jobs or also registering as unemployed. 

Much emphasis has been placed on employment growth but we need to also focus on whether our unemployed are benefiting from the economic growth that has occurred.  It would appear much of the employment and economic gains of the past three years have bypassed many unemployed Queenslanders.

All figures sourced from ABS Catalogue 6202.0

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