Queensland Job Vacancy Up in the Three Months to November: CCIQ

Wednesday 9 January, 2019 | By: Dan Petrie

Australia’s job vacancies increased 1.7% in the three months to November as private sector openings surpassed 220,000 according to the latest data released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics with Queensland jobs listed up 8.3% over the same period to 38,000.

The Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) notes recent data on an improving trade performance and elevated levels of economic activity in the retail sector have boosted the state economy over the last quarter.

CCIQ Chief Economist, Dr Marcus Smith said the state has the highest number of job vacancies since 2012 and reflects in part a need to bridge the skill shortage gap.

“Whilst policy makers would welcome inflationary pressures around the broader economy the simple fact is the patchwork nature of the employment environment currently is still somewhat problematic for policy makers.

“Recent economic data for Queensland is suggesting certain regions in the state are performing relatively strongly, therefore it is not surprising to see indicators like this reflecting a tightening labour market for skilled workers.

“Employment data for Mackay is showing a booming economy, which is also coming out in the merchandise trade data, particularly with respect to our elevated values for coal which are underpinning the state’s finances.

“Gold Coast is also performing exceptionally well; and there is strength in the Cairns employment market too, which is currently at historically high levels of employed persons.

“The irony here is that Queensland has the highest level of unemployment in the country, but we have these pockets of the state where their economies may soon start to show signs of over-heating.

“Over-heating is where price pressures in an economy become apparent as competition for goods and services as well as labour resources drives prices up.  

“The issue with skills shortages is not only that employers fail to find suitable workers to grow their businesses, but it further puts upward pressure on wages and the cost of doing business,” Dr Smith said.

CCIQ notes that the state’s uptick in job vacancies is predominantly within the private sector, however, public sector vacancies have also seen a small uptick implying that the Government is continuing to grow the public service at a time where Queensland’s debt is being flagged as a growing problem. 

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