Few parts of Queensland escaping the unemployment jump

WHILE the state-wide unemployment rate sits at 6% in the Sunshine State, the latest figures show a mixed bag of results across regional Queensland.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics released regional breakdowns of the national labour force data from December Thursday.

Figures revealed the unemployment rate has increased in most regional areas, but the rate in several areas also fell during the final month of last year.

Treasurer Tim Nicholls said some areas like Wide Bay had been suffering "big variables" in the employment numbers.

"I know last week, for example, a survey Suncorp did showed Toowoomba and the Downs area unemployment rate was at 1.8-1.9% obviously picking up on the back of resource industry and strengthened agriculture," he said.

"Queensland is a diverse state, it's more diverse in terms of cities towns and employment prospects - so I would expect there would be some variables."

Mr Nicholls said the government remained committed to reducing the state-wide unemployment rate to 4% in the next six years.

"Any increase in unemployment rate is unacceptable and that's why we remain committed to removing red tape, giving consumers' confidence and giving them more money in their pockets," he said.

The Gold Coast, Wide Bay-Burnett, Mackay-Fitzroy and Central West, the Darling Downs, the North West and the Far North all experienced a rise in unemployment in December.

In other areas, the unemployment rate fell, including in Ipswich, the south-east corner, the Sunshine Coast and West Moreton.

Regional Unemployment Rate in Queensland:

  • Entire state: 6%, up 0.4%.
  • Brisbane: 5.8%, up 0.3%.
  • South-east: 5.7%, down 1.5%.
  • Ipswich: 5.6%, down 1.4%.
  • Gold Coast: 5.8%, up 1.4%.
  • Sunshine Coast: 4.9%, down 1.5%.
  • West Moreton: 3.2%, down 3.8%.
  • Wide Bay-Burnett: 10.8%, up 2%.
  • Mackay-Fitzroy-Central West: 5%, up 0.4%.
  • Darling Downs: 6.4%, up 1.8%.
  • North-North-West: 4.5%, up 1%.
  • Far North: 8.4%, up 0.4%.
  • Balance of Qld regions: 6.2%, up 0.6%.


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