Jobs recovery in North Queensland a mixed bag
That’s the summary by recruitment firm TP Human Capital and consultants DS Economics, drawn from jobs advertising.
New figures on SEEK reveal job adverts have improved by over four times from their low point in mid-April.
The Townsville region had experienced an amazing recovery in new job ads and was one of the better performing jobs markets around the state, said TP Human Capital managing director Clayton Cook.
Job ads were one measure of the health of an economy, Mr Cook said.
“This improved performance was forecast in 2017/18, despite the pandemic restrictions,” he said.
“We have been saying all through this pandemic that Townsville is in a strong position to recover quicker than many other regions. There are still many challenges and opportunities ahead and recovery is still likely to be gradual.
“Local job adverts are one positive indicator in a vast economic and health jigsaw puzzle.
“New job adverts peaked in March 2020, before the pandemic hit. From a low of 80 new job adverts in mid-April, Townsville has improved to over 350 new job ads in mid-August.”
It was important that the jobs growth was diversified, Mr Cook said.
“Key sectors for new job ads include trades, NDIS, other health positions, education, administration, plant and machinery operators, child carers, federal and state government jobs, among others.
“We and DS Economics raised the strong potential for these conditions as far back as 2017/18. We hope many people and organisations took advantage of the information and did appropriate training and upskilling.”
The current situation was generally good throughout the regions, said Townsville-based Economist Colin Dwyer.
“Mackay has performed better than Townsville but the rate of recovery in new job ads has been better in Townsville,” Mr Dwyer said.
“Cairns’ new job ads picked up solidly in May but then dropped away in August after Victoria and New South Wales were locked out.”
The four-month average unemployment rate is 6.9 per cent. Townsville region workforce levels have improved around 7 per cent since April 2020.
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