Business Numbers Fall in Queensland
CCIQ (Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland) has today released analysis on the number of businesses operating in Queensland.
Based on Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) Counts of Australian Businesses including Entries and Exits the data provides a unique perspective on the changes in business demographics across Queensland’s regions.
Over the most recent 24 month period available, Queensland experienced a 1.1% decline in the total number of employing businesses.
The top growth industries in that time were Arts and Recreation Services (8.75%); Education and Training (7.93%); and Health Care and Social Assistance (5.29%).
The industries which experienced the biggest decline over the 24 month period were; Transport, Postal and Warehousing (-7.69%); Manufacturing (-6.03%) and Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (-4.96%).
As of June 2011, the biggest industries according to business numbers in Queensland were; Construction (28,267), Professional, Scientific and Technical Services (19,245) and Retail Trade (15,829). Both Retail and Construction additionally experienced significant declines over that period.
The results of the business data highlight that Queensland businesses have done it tough since 2007/08 with the onset of the Global Financial Crisis and various political decisions. Whilst we are experiencing a mining boom, the picture of businesses outside of this industry shows a different picture all together.
The reasons for this decline apart from the high Australian dollar and poor international and Australian consumer confidence are varied. Business is faced with the challenge of a high cost operating environment due to high levels of government regulation, taxation and employment costs.
Queensland businesses have additionally raised the issue of access to finance and this is certainly becoming more constrained in the current economic environment. This will further reduce the opportunities and potential to invest in business growth and diversification.
Red tape and over regulation is the single most significant factor impacting on business growth. Key areas of burden for business include Industrial relations, environmental regulations, workplace health and safety, taxation and associated reporting and building and planning.
Industrial relations and other employment related costs makes Australia a high employment cost country. This prevents businesses from being competitive against other major competitor nations, especially developing/emerging countries in Asia.
Unfortunately the competitiveness of the Queensland business environment is anticipated to take a further hit today as significant cost increases are applied simultaneously across multiple areas of business operations, in particular the Carbon Tax.