Townsville unemployment drops to 13-year low
Townsville’s unemployment rate has fallen to 3.5%, down from a high of 11.6% in February 2017, and significantly lower than the 8.1% rate experienced when the pandemic hit.
The last time the city’s unemployment rate was this low was almost 13 years ago, in June 2009.
The ‘annual average of the previous 12 months’ figure was released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics in its detailed Labour Force data.
Federal Member for Herbert Phillip Thompson said it reflected the sentiment in the city.
“This is a fantastic figure for Townsville, and is just another indicator of our community’s ability to rise above the toughest of challenges,” Mr Thompson said.
“Business confidence is at its highest in 15 years, we have more than $2.5 billion worth of Federal Government investment in our city, and more people in work now than for more than a decade.
“While small and medium business owners have been able to adjust and adapt after being brought to their knees by the pandemic, we also kept 19,000 locals in jobs with JobKeeper. These unemployment figures show that investment paying dividends.”
Mr Thompson said while the unemployment rate was a good measure for the health of the local economy, he acknowledged that some businesses were still struggling to find staff.
“The flip-side of low unemployment is a shortage of workers, and while it’s important to have people in work, we also need our businesses to thrive.
“That’s why we fought for the Designated Area Migration Agreement (DAMA) which will make it easier for businesses to access overseas workers if they can prove they can’t find a local for a position.
“We’re also investing heavily in training and apprenticeships, with up to $5000 for new apprentices, and up to $15,000 for their employers in wage subsidies.”