Queensland Government Media Releases

State Budget strategy supports regional and youth jobs

June 22, 2017

Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment
The Honourable Curtis Pitt

State Budget strategy supports regional and youth jobs

Treasurer and Minister for Trade and Investment, Curtis Pitt, says today’s ABS figures on regional and youth unemployment confirm the government is on the right path by continuing to focus on job creation — including initiatives in last week’s State Budget. 

Mr Pitt said the figures for May showed: 

  • general unemployment rates steady or lower than April in eight of the 14 regions outside Brisbane
  • a drop in rates in eight regions over the past 12 months
  • seven regions with jobless rates below the state average for May of 6.3%, and
  • nine regions with unemployment rate falls since the January 2015 state election.

“We have seen some positive trends in individual regions, for example the May figures show the lowest unemployment rate for Cairns in nearly seven years. The last time the unemployment rate was lower was June 2009. 

“Townsville has recorded its third consecutive monthly fall in its unemployment rate and a drop in Mackay is a good sign given the region has borne the brunt of the downturn in the resources sector.” 

Mr Pitt aid last week’s State Budget confirmed the government’s focus on job creation. 

“Across the state our economic plan has seen a net 69,300 jobs created since the January 2015 state election, but we know there is much more to do,” he said. 

“That is why the 2017-18 state budget contained a series of initiatives to support job creation, to build more infrastructure, particularly in regional Queensland and training, and employer incentives for taking on new staff.  

“These included our $42.75 billion four-year capital works program that includes $10.2 billion for 2017-18 supporting 40,000 jobs across the state with almost half of those funds earmarked for regional projects. 

“The Budget continues the Back to Work program delivering incentives of up to $20,000 to regional employers for hiring jobseekers and expands it to cover South East Queensland. 

“The Budget also delivered a further $200 million over two year for the Works for Queensland program supporting local councils undertaking job-creating works projects. 

“The Budget continued funding for our $130 million Jobs and Regional Growth Fund aimed at lifting economic activity and jobs, and our $375 million Building Our Regions program. 

“Through our economic plan and three State Budgets we are creating jobs now and for the future but we know we must do more to ensure job opportunities for regional Queenslanders and our young jobseekers,” Mr Pitt said. 

Unemployment rates for May showed a fall since April in: 

  • Gold Coast — down 0.1% to 5.2; down 0.2% on May 2016; and down 0.8% since the January 2015 state election
  • Sunshine Coast — down 0.1% to 5.0%; steady on May 2016; and down 2.3% since the state election
  • Cairns — down 0.5% to 6.6%; down 1.9% on May 2016; and down 1.3% since the election
  • Mackay — down 0.3% to 5.5%; down 1.5% on May 2016; and down 0.1% since the election
  • Townsville — down 0.1% to 5.6%
  • Wide Bay — down 0.3% to 9.0% and down 1.1% since the election.

The ABS figures showed jobless rates steady in May compared with April in: 

  • Ipswich — 7.4%; down 0.7% on May 2016; and down 1.2% since the January 2015 state election
  • Logan/Beaudesert — 5.8%; down 0.9% on May 2016; and down 2.6% since the election. 

The ABS figures showed rates rose from April to May in: 

  • Moreton Bay North — up 0.3% to 6.7%; but down 0.0.4% on May 2016; and down 2.3% from the January 2015 state election
  • Moreton Bay South — up 0.1 to 4.5%; but down 0.4% on May 2016; and down 0.4% from the election
  • Darling Downs/Maranoa — up 0.2% to 3.8% but down 0.1% on May 2016
  • Fitzroy — up 0.2% to 7.1%
  • Queensland Outback — up 0.6% to 13.2%
  • Toowoomba — up 0.1% to 5.6%. 

The statewide youth unemployment rate of 13.6% in May was slightly up by 0.1% on April but 0.5% lower than at the January 2015 state election. 

Mr Pitt said it was encouraging to see youth unemployment rates fell or were steady from April to May in six of 14 regions outside Brisbane: 

  • Ipswich — down 0.3% to 12.8% but down 4.8% since the election
  • Gold Coast — down 0.4% to 11.5% but down 3.1% since the election
  • Sunshine Coast — down 0.6% to 10.2% and down 4.7% since the election
  • Cairns — down 1.0% to 19.6% but down 1.9% since the election
  • Darling Downs/Maranoa — down 0.6% to 8.8%
  • Townsville — down 0.2% to 21.6%. 

The youth unemployment rate in the Moreton Bay South region was steady at 10.2% from April to May this year but was 0.7% down on the rate at the time of the state election. 

Youth unemployment rates rose in: 

  • Logan/Beaudesert — up 0.1% to 13.3%but down 2.3% since the January 2015 state election
  • Moreton Bay North — up 0.3% to 12.3% but down 4.4% since the election
  • Fitzroy — up 0.8% to 13.3%
  • Mackay — up 0.2% to 10.4%
  • Queensland Outback — up 5.5% to 53.9%
  • Toowoomba — up 0.9% to 10.1% but down 1.3% since the election
  • Wide Bay — up 0.1% to 24.0%. 

“The latest youth unemployment rates show the wisdom of our direct employment initiatives such as the Back to Work program offering $20,000 to employers hiring jobseekers aged 15-24,” Mr Pitt said. 

“I urge all regional employers to consider applying for Back to Work payments to give young Queenslanders a start to their careers.”