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    Coat of ArmsMedia Release
    Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    Deloitte Business Outlook reinforces need to focus on jobs

    Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment
    The Honourable Curtis Pitt

    Tuesday, April 18, 2017

    Deloitte Business Outlook reinforces need to focus on jobs

    Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment Curtis Pitt says the latest analysis of national, state, and territory economies by Deloitte Access Economics confirms the value of the Palaszczuk Government’s job-creation focus.

    “The latest DAE ‘Business Outlook: All Engines Firing’ for March 2017 identifies Queensland’s ‘solid’ economic growth but acknowledges growth in jobs is ‘modest’ — this is why we are resolute in our focus to work with the private sector, local Governments and the Federal Government to drive more jobs and higher growth,” Mr Pitt said.

    “The report contains positive news for Queensland, identifying increased population growth, increased retail turnover and a tourism inspired commercial construction wave fuelling Queensland’s economic growth.

    "The Deloitte Business Outlook report says: 'Queensland’s retailers saw the pace of turnover growth accelerate to catch up to the national average over the last year, and short term prospects look pretty solid'.

    "The report goes on to say that: 'In particular, the spectacular lift in gas exports to the world that is underway at the moment provides a substantial dividend to the State’s economic growth, but is simultaneously a net negative for jobs (in the sense that the construction phase takes rather more workers than does the operational phase in these big gas projects)'."

    Mr Pitt said DAE’s reference to the divergence between largely export-led economic growth and job growth points, reinforced the Palaszczuk Government’s focus on job creation.

    “I’ve said on many occasions we want to ensure that all Queenslanders feel like they are a part of our economic growth story, no matter where they live," Mr Pitt said.

    “That’s why the Palaszczuk Government’s two State Budgetsand last December’s Mid-Year Fiscal and Economic Review focussed on job creation, as will the 2017-18 State Budget on 13 June.

    “We’ve earmarked $40 billion over four years for job-creating infrastructure, $100 million for our Back to Work program focussed on regional businesses, $130 million for a Jobs and Regional Growth Package, and a $200 million Works for Queensland program to support local councils undertaking job-creating works projects.

    “These are just a few of a wide range of programs that are growing the economy and creating jobs right across our state.

    “Latest ABS figures show 46,400 jobs created in Queensland since the January 2015 state election under our economic plan — that’s 1,784 jobs created on average each month in the 26 months since the election.

    “The figures also show a stable trend unemployment rate for March of 6.4 per cent with the more volatile seasonally adjusted rate for March dropping to 6.3 per cent from 6.6 per cent in February — the largest drop in seasonally adjusted terms in the nation.”

    Mr Pitt said in its latest report, DAE had revised its economic growth forecasts for Queensland for 2016-17 from 2.6 per cent to 1.9 per cent, but increased its forecast for 2017-18 from 3.9 per cent to 4.5 per cent.

    The DAE forecasts compared with Queensland Treasury’s own forecasts of 4 per cent growth in 2016-17 and 3.5 per cent in 2017‑18.

    “Several private sector forecasts all point to the fundamental strength and strong growth prospects of our state economy," Mr Pitt said.

    Recent private sector forecasts of Queensland economic growth from CBA at 3% and NAB and Westpac at 3.5% for 2016-17.

    This report follows on from the March NAB monthly business survey which showed that for the fourth straight month businesses in Queensland recorded the highest level of confidence in the nation at +11 points – ahead of all other States and well above the national average of +7.

    The Westpac-Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index in April also saw Queensland’s consumer sentiment rise 8.3 per cent in the month to 103.0 in original terms – above all other mainland States, including NSW (96.5) and Victoria (99.1) and above the national average of 99.0 seasonally adjusted.

    “While these reports may vary in their methodologies and assumptions, the bottom line is Queensland is showing strong growth but we need to continue our focus on job creation,” Mr Pitt said.

    “I can assure Queenslanders we are doing exactly that, in fact today I’m launching the government’s new Trade and Investment Strategy 2017-2022.

    “It’s another key part of our economic plan and like other government initiatives the new strategy is designed to support business, attract investment, lift our export efforts, and generate new jobs.”

    Mr Pitt said other employment initiatives rolled out by the Palaszczuk Labor Government included:

    • The $405 million Advance Queensland Package to foster innovation and investment in jobs of the future as well as develop new jobs in our traditional strengths such as agriculture, tourism, manufacturing, education, and health
    • $200 million Advancing Queensland Schools program to deliver 98 school infrastructure projects with priority given to the construction and improvement of school halls
    • Doubling of the payroll tax rebate from 25% to 50% for employers hiring trainees or apprentices. Almost 3,500 businesses have so far taken advantage of concessions worth $17.8 million
    • Reintroduction of the Skilling Queenslanders for Work program axed by the Newman-Nicholls Government with $240 million over four years to help an estimated 32,000 jobseekers train for and secure jobs; and
    • The $33.5 million Advance Queensland Connecting with Asia Strategy to boost tourism, flights and local jobs, with an extra $128.3 million over four years providing funding certainty to Tourism and Events Queensland.

     

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