Gympie's unemployment figures have started 2019 with their best result in seven years.
Gympie's unemployment figures have started 2019 with their best result in seven years. frender

Good news on Gympie unemployment front

THE start of 2019 has delivered a win for the region's jobless with data revealing the unemployment rate hit a seven-year low in March.

Figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics reveal the region's unemployment level for this year's first quarter was 7.03 per cent.

It is the lowest the official figure has been since September 2012, when it sat at 6.5

It is a marked improvement from a year ago when the rate was 8.5 per cent. And it is a far cry from 2015 when the yearly average was 10.22 per cent.

Job seekers.
Job seekers. Georja Ryan

However, it still needs to shave another 0.6 of a per cent off to reach its lowest level in a decade.

In the year the number of unemployed people fell by 332 (from 1837 to 1505), and the total local resident worker count was 21,411, down 162 from March last year.

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Despite the improvement, Gympie's rate is still 2 per cent higher than Australia's (5.1 per cent) and 1 per cent higher than Queensland's rate in the March quarter.

It is more than 1 per cent higher than the Regional Queensland average of 5.87 per cent.

The effect of the latest statewide rise in unemployment to 6.5 per cent (Australia's second-highest) is unknown; the regional figures for the June quarter are not expected to be released until September.

Job hunting.
Job hunting. Michaela O'Neill

Gympie is not the only region enjoying a win.

From December 2014 to March this year the Fraser Coast's rate dipped from 10.6 per cent to 8.7 per cent, the Sunshine Coast's has dropped from 7.4 to 6.3, and Bundaberg has sunk from 9.5 to 7.3.

North Burnett (5.5 to 4.2) and South Burnett (9.5 to 7.8) were also winners.

The damage to Queensland's figures was done further north in towns like Mt Isa, where the rate has tripled in the past five years.

On the hunt

Past jobless rates

2011:6.68%

2012:7.11%

2013:7.97%

2014:8.34%

2015:10.23%

2016:8.58%

2017:8.38%

2018:8.27%

Gympie Times


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