Friday 21 May 2010

Cairns unemployment still 7% above the national average

In October, just seven months ago, Far North Queensland had the highest unemployment in Australia at 11.8%.

In early January, Cairns had 4,315 residents receiving Newstart and Youth Allowances, the highest in Queensland, just over 15% unemployment.
March recorded 14%, however April figures just released, show nearly a 2% reduction. However, at 12.4%, the Cairns unemployment rate is more than double the national average.

Member for Leichhardt, Jim Turnour says that after a very difficult 12-18 months for the Far North, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

“With more construction projects kicking in, including school, housing and other economic stimulus projects to support jobs, and flight capacity returning domestically and internationally, there are positive signs for employment going forward,” Jim Turnour said yesterday.
Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard, visiting Cairns yesterday, attributed the high unemployment to the global recession.

A second jobs expo will be held in Cairns on Friday June 25, at Fred Moules Exhibition Centre. If you want to exhibit for free, call Jim Turnour's office on 1300 301 917, but don't use your mobile, as they are blocked from using the free local dialing number to call your MP's office. I kid you not.
The national unemployment rate remained steady at 5.4% in April.


Lisa Robbie said...

It's a shame that many of the school projects via BER money weren't contracted out to local companies & builders. I fear that much of the work-force involved in the construction jobs will also come from down South.

The project management fees for these stimulus jobs have been extraordinary & the big construction & project management companies are the biggest winners in all of this.

Meanwhile, towns like ours have the construction industry struggling while they watch these big firms move in & take on the jobs that many of our own local builders could have tackled, keeping the money locally.

Schools are expert at doing the job of educating our kids, not taking on big building projects. I don't blame them for using Project Managers, however, I wish there'd been some kind of clause that local resources should be used where possible.

The intention was good, but it's really done little to help us here in FNQ. Not enough consideration was given to the local impact.

Concerned of Edge Hill said...

My son went to TAFE to learn bar work, he did the responsible service of alcohol, hygiene, something to do with pokies, and whatever else, it cost him a bit, but he wanted to work in the city clubs.

When he applied he was told by almost every place that they only employ backpackers.

With 14% unemployment it isn't right that these backpackers should be able to work in places like Cairns, their visas should be used where labour is difficult to find.

John, Kuranda said...

I understand - and please someone clarify this for me - that the 12.4% is made up of a much large percentage of male unemployment than females. I heard somewhere the figure of 16% male unemployment. With the downturn in the construction industry (and the flow on effects to companies like Smithfield Electrics) this means trades and skills are in danger of being lost if, and when, the good times return.

I also agree wholeheartedly with the first comment from Lisa Robbie. Also the TAFE crisis does not auger well for the future either.

KitchenSlut said...

John, there was a gap between male and female unemployment in Cairns following the GFC and throughout 2009. The largest gap in ABS data was September 2009 with male at 17.9% and female at 9.6%. This ABS data can be volatile and the data by sex during this period did carry a warning on sampling variability which is not tagged in more recent data. However, the trend male unemployment did rise substantially above female through this period. In the recent two months this has closed so they are again almost equal.