Continuing labour shortages amid government incentives
- Central Queensland annual change in unemployment rate down 0.7%, currently 5.2%
- Skilling Queenslanders for Work to assist 537 people across CQ with funding of $2.5 million
- Job vacancies are at all-time highs
Lowest unemployment rate since August 1974
The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics release on the Australian labour force has revealed that national unemployment fell to 3.5% in June, the lowest rate since August 1974, when it was 2.7%.
The fall is due to increases in people gaining employment along with a reduction in employed people becoming unemployed. This reflects in the increasingly tight labour market we are currently experiencing. Demand for workers is high with employers struggling to fill their vacancies.
Interestingly, the report reveals that the number of unemployed people in June 2022 (494,000) is almost the same as job vacancies in May 2022 (480,000). This ratio is much lower than pre-pandemic figures, when there were three times as many people unemployed per job vacancy.
$2.567 million funding to assist Central Queenslanders find work
It has been announced by the Palaszczuk Government that $2.567 million from its Skilling Queenslanders for Work initiative will fund 17 projects and 537 people in Central Queensland. The projects will prepare local unemployed and underemployed people to enter the workforce.
The initiative is good news for jobseekers and employers alike, in providing work-ready people in a skills-short employment market. And critically, the program addresses diversity and inclusion in the workplace with traditionally ‘disadvantaged’ people being supported with skills development, training and job opportunities.
It was announced that some of the projects being funded include:
- Multicultural Australia’s Yeppen Lagoon – Nature Based Recreation project, which will assist 26 Rockhampton people thanks to $557,800.
- Integreat Queensland’s Skilling Queenslanders in Certificate III in Hospitality project, which will assist 30 Gladstone participants thanks to $98,600.
Growing Queensland's agriculture workforce
Employment in Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing in Central Queensland accounts for a 7.2% share of our total workforce. Compared to Queensland state’s 2.5%, the recent announcement of a plan to grow jobs in the sector over the next five years is welcome news for the Central Queensland region.
The Minister for Employment and Small Business and Minister for Training and Skills Development Di Farmer launched the five-year plan to attract and retain a highly skilled workforce, in an industry not only impacted by the skills shortage, but droughts, flooding and COVID-19 disruptions too.
The Queensland Agriculture Industry Workforce Plan has been developed by the Queensland Farmers’ Federation in partnership with Jobs Queensland and in collaboration with the Rural Jobs and Skills Alliance (RJSA).
Attracting a highly skilled workforce to the region is key to sustaining this industry sector, which in 2020-21 was estimated to contribute more than $20 billion total value to the state economy.
A continuing theme
The lack of skilled workers and few candidates for open job vacancies continues to dominate the outlook for the labour market. The Jobs In CQ website saw an increase in job advertisements being posted, up 3.6% on the previous month. Job vacancies on the website are at their highest-ever level. This is in line with data compiled by the National Skills Commission who compile the Internet Vacancy Index (IVI), a monthly count of online job advertisements. The June 2022 IVI shows that job advertisements have increased for the last six month and are at their highest level since April 2008.
Even Better Living
While businesses in Central Queensland struggle to recruit in the current employment climate, this is not an issue isolated to our region or state. The ‘good’ news angle to this is that we are fortunate to live in a very ‘live-able’ region. We have an enviable tropical climate with year-round boating and recreational activities including access to the Southern end of the Great Barrier Reef. Gladstone is home to one Australia’s busiest ports and the region is an industry powerhouse within the mining and agricultural sectors. The region’s reputation as a growth centre is currently supported by the emerging global hydrogen industry.
Currently, the Queensland government is actively using the state’s lifestyle as its draw card as part of it’s ‘Tradies in Paradise’ initiative, offering incentives to tradespeople who relocate to work on Queensland’s flood recovery.
Here in Central Queensland, our privileged, easy-going way of life and burgeoning jobs market is the trump card our businesses boast in attracting skilled workers to fulfill their vacant positions.
For more information and insights about the local CQ job market and opportunities Register