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Employers see big problems with the state's booming economy

Business

The property industry has jumped aboard the bull market sentiment with confidence about Queensland’s economic prospects at a record level, but problems linked to the growth are emerging.

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The skills shortage is looming large for the sector and separate data from the ABS this week showed the construction industry had more than 30,000 vacancies nationally.

The issue is unlikely to be resolved until international borders were re-opened.

But there are also concerns about land supply and housing affordability as a result of the significant growth in interstate migrants.

The Property Council warned that the skills shortage could impact Queensland’s ability to take advantage of the opportunities presented by economic growth and the potential presented by the 2032 Olympics being allocated to Brisbane.

The quarterly survey from the ANZ and the Property Council said Queensland was the only state to record a boost in economic sentiment.

Confidence in Queensland had risen from 144 to 147 index points over the past quarter, with 100 considered neutral.  

The survey also picked up a belief that housing prices would fall, a sentiment also found in CoreLogic’s data released yesterday.

The council said as the largest private sector employer, maintaining confidence within the industry would be crucial to the state’s economic rebound as Queensland emerges from lockdown.

The ANZ said the impact of the pandemic was lingering in some sectors of the industry, with a drop in confidence in the office sector which was related to the work-from-home arrangements.

Property Council Queensland executive director Jen Williams said that despite the current lockdown, conditions remain favourable for most sectors of the industry, and it was vital the positivity continued.

 “As the recipients of a steady flow of interstate migrants, and with Brisbane on the cusp of being announced as an Olympic city, Queensland’s overarching economic conditions are very much trending in the right direction,’’ Williams said.

“In fact, sentiment regarding the State’s economic growth prospects is the highest on record, and we are the only state to record a boost on this metric over the past quarter.

 “What the survey showed, however, is the vulnerability and limitations we are experiencing in being able to capitalise on this positivity.

 “While population growth is welcome, it has highlighted the linked issues of land supply and affordability, with both the private sector and governments at all levels now under pressure to deliver more – and more affordable- land to market quicker.

 “This pressure in the residential market and positivity across the industry more broadly has exacerbated the emerging issue of staff shortages. Queensland is not only reporting a shortage in terms of the trades and skills needed on construction sites, but more broadly in terms of the professional services and white-collar workers who service the industry more broadly.

 “As we look forward to a golden decade of opportunity in the lead up to the 2032 Olympic Games, it will be vital that Queensland attracts the talent we need to keep our state’s economy moving.

 “Likewise, ongoing investment in the activation of our city centres and the productivity of our CBD is essential as we set ourselves up for the 2032 Games.

 “The underlying worker preference for a flexible working week highlights the ongoing challenges CBDs across the nation face, and on top of that, we are now facing a new round of COVID-19 lockdowns and restrictions.

 

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