Employment conditions to improve in Queensland

Published Thursday, 17 January, 2013 at 02:52 PM

Treasurer and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Tim Nicholls

The Newman Government remains committed to growing the four pillars of Queensland’s economy and maintains its target of a four per cent unemployment rate over six years, following today’s volatile ABS employment data.

The data showed Queensland’s trend unemployment rate had gone up by a marginal 0.05 per cent to 6.25 per cent in December 2012, after a steady November which saw 29,700 jobs created in seasonally adjusted terms.

Treasurer Tim Nicholls said the figures, while disappointing, were reflected in the Mid Year Fiscal and Economic Review which was released in December 2012.

“A weaker global outlook, including certainty about the US ‘fiscal cliff’ and a decline in commodity prices, has seen business remain cautious which has led to a weakening in labour market conditions in Queensland,” Mr Nicholls said.

“This is reflected right across Australia, with 5,500 jobs lost nationwide in December.

“The recent announcements of job losses at Esco, PPI, Boral, BlueScope and Crazy John’s are further proof of difficult business conditions.

“The MYFER predicted employment to grow by 0.25 per cent in 2012-13 and we are yet to see that growth flow through to the ABS data, so we believe employment will improve in Queensland.”

Mr Nicholls said the seasonally adjusted estimates seemed volatile and it was important to look at trend figures.

“The trend is much more stable and shows 100 new jobs in December,” he said.

Mr Nicholls said the jobs data was out of line with other more current and prospective economic data released this week, showing improving confidence amongst businesses and consumers.

“The Property Council of Australia-ANZ Property Industry Confidence March quarter survey shows an eight-point rise in Queensland’s confidence index, the second highest increase in Australia” he said.

“Other economic data shows the original value of finance commitments for the purchase of existing investment dwellings for rent or resale by individuals has grown by 13 per cent over 2012.

“The latest Westpac-Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index, released yesterday, shows consumer confidence in Queensland is back into optimistic territory for the first time in 11 months.

“This positive economic news points to improving conditions in 2013 and underlines the opportunities available in this great state.”

[ENDS] 17 January 2013

Media Contact: Treasurer’s Office – 3224 6900