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Despite Annual Jobs Growth, Queensland's Unemployment Rate Returns to Second Highest in the Nation in April

28 May 2021 9:47 AM | Dr Marcus Smith (Administrator)

Despite a modest decline in the number of employed persons in Queensland over March to April on a seasonally-adjusted basis, the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) headline Labour Force print for April, 2021 shows that there are around 189,500 more persons employed since this time last year comprising an additional 98,000 full-time positions and 91,500 part-time roles.

While the number of males employed across the state grew by 92,300 with 52,000 of those jobs full-time and 42,300 part-time, female jobs growth was greater over the year with an additional 97,250 positions, with almost 46,000 additional full-time roles as well as 51,300 more part-time jobs

The statistics show also that the number of unemployed persons actively looking for work is almost 20,000 lower than in April last year, with 13,000 less males and 7,000 less females actively looking for work.

With more employed and less unemployed persons in the state, the unemployment rate has fallen by 1.2% since April last year to 6.1% on a seasonally-adjusted basis (6.3% for males and 5.7% for females). Nevertheless, with the state holding the second-highest unemployment rate in Australia, Queensland's unemployment rate remains well above the national rate at 5.5%.

While each month the ABS provide a detailed breakdown of their original statistics at the Statistical Area 4 level, however, they do not publish series adjusted on a trend or seasonally adjusted basis. The trend series allocates weights over a number of periods to smooth over the variability in the original estimates, while the seasonally adjusted series is smoothed to account for the impacts of seasonal factors that occur at different times of the year.

While the trend series is the preferred series to report on the labour force print, the ABS trend series currently remains suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Accordingly, Pete Faulkner from Conus Consultancy Services continues to provide smoothed Conus/CBC Staff Selection Employment trend and seasonally-adjusted series using the ABS original data published each month at the SA4 level.

Breaking down this smoothed data on a seasonally-adjusted basis shows that most regions across the state experienced increases in employment on a year-on-year basis to April.

On the other hand, over the same period the change in the number of unemployed persons actively looking for work within each region was more varied.

Taking these two measures into account and comparing the headline Queensland unemployment rate of 6.1% for April with the unemployment rates across each region further illustrates how diverse job markets are across the state and how regional unemployment typically differs quite substantially across the state.

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