Trend labour market highlights need for continued focus on jobs
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) says there is no room for complacency despite ABS seasonally adjusted figures highlighting considerable improvement in our State’s labour market. CCIQ General Manager of Advocacy Nick Behrens said trend figures released today continued to indicate an unemployment rate well above the national average and a need to keep the foot on the accelerator of jobs creation.
Seasonally adjusted numbers revealed 22,500 jobs created in the month of December and 29,400 across the 2014 calendar year. At the same time the unemployment rate reduced from 6.8 per cent to 6.1 per cent in December and was now level pegging with the national average.
"However, let’s be honest, we must resist temptation to use seasonally adjusted estimates and focus on the more reliable trend series which is matching up more accurately with the economic announcements we are seeing,” Mr Behrens said.
"According to ABS trend series the unemployment rate has been flat at 6.6 per cent for the past five months, above the national average at 6.2 per cent. In terms of employment creation December was flat and with only modest growth since December 2013 with 8,500 jobs.
"Today’s trend numbers, while certainly not as promising as the seasonally adjusted picture, does indicate that the deterioration in our State’s labour market has bottomed out. The unemployment rate is no longer on the rise.
"This is a much more accurate snapshot of where our state’s labour market truly lies.
"Quite simply, job-shedding in the resources sector and the associated supply chain has been countering the jobs creation that is currently occurring in the Queensland economy.
"But with the flow or pass through of this trend in the resources sector the labour market should inevitably start to improve.”
Mr Behrens said the trend labour market data matched up with CCIQ’s Pre-Election Survey of 1100 Queensland businesses, which highlighted the level of economic activity was the number two issue of concern at present, coupled with unemployment (9th).
"CCIQ has called on the next State Government as part of its Election Super 7 to place the economy and jobs at the top of its agenda. Bold action is needed across seven key areas to enable small business to grow and employ,” he said.
Mr Behrens said it was imperative that the next State Government prioritise economic growth and responsible fiscal management, as well as enhance the overall business operating environment through less regulation and lower business costs.
"We must also cast an eye towards the horizon, equally prioritising productivity, innovation and entrepreneurship. Queensland businesses are looking to politicians for genuine vision in these areas,” he said.