Barry Leddicoat

Queensland falling behind in State of the States report

A SOFT job market and underperformance on population growth are strangling Queensland's home construction sector, the latest Commsec State of the States report has revealed.

Queensland has fallen further behind Victoria on the nation's economic rankings despite leading the country on overall construction work.

There was $11.8 million of construction in the state over the past quarter - up 10.7% on its decade average.

But Queensland's overall position has been marred by an equal-bottom ranking alongside Tasmania for its 6.5% unemployment rate and sixth place for its 1.49% population growth - down 30.2% on its decade average.

Queensland ranked fifth of the eight states and territories on home construction.

The LNP took aim at the Palaszczuk Government for failing to outline any new projects to drive economic growth or create jobs since the state election.

"Queensland's strengths are still construction work and equipment investment, but the wind-down in major mining projects is undoubtedly having an impact," Shadow Treasurer John-Paul Langbroek said.

"It's vital the government outlines its plans to help stimulate confidence, simply praying for jobs and growth isn't enough."

New South Wales topped the overall rankings again, beating all other states and territories in terms of population growth and home construction.

Northern Territory dropped back to the second slot from its shared first overall position alongside NSW last quarter.

Commsec chief economist Craig James said NSW was expected to hold onto its top spot for at least the next three to six months.

"Northern Territory will probably hold onto second spot but beneath that, in terms of the rankings, we could see Victoria as the big improver," he said.

"Perhaps taking Western Australia's third spot and perhaps moving up even further into Northern Territory's number two spot.

"In terms of Queensland, it will probably hold its position around the middle of the economic performance table."

Mr James said Tasmania could be another "big mover", after its unemployment rate hit a three-year low of 6.5%. 

STRONG ECONOMIES

1. New South Wales

Strength: Retail spending

Weakness: Construction

2. Northern Territory

Strength: Employment

Weakness: Housing finance

3. Western Australia

Strength: Retail trade

Weakness: Unemployment

4. Victoria

Strength: Home lending

Weakness: Equipment spending

5. Queensland

Strength: Business investment

Weakness: Unemployment

6. ACT

Strength: Housing finance

Weakness: Unemployment

7. South Australia

Strength: Population growth

Weakness: Dwelling starts

8. Tasmania

Strength: Employment

Weakness: Various



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