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Queensland a beacon in gloom as state's jobless rate lowest since 2009


Queensland’s unemployment rate has fallen to 4.9 per cent, the lowest level since 2009, as an extra 31,000 people found jobs in September.

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Nationally, unemployment lifted to 4.6 per cent as 111,000 people lost their jobs in September.

The relatively low unemployment national figure covers up the fact that Australia-wide, 330,000 people have dropped out of the labour market in the past three months and employment has fallen by 281,000.

Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick said since March last year, Queensland had created more jobs than any other state.

“Not just that, we have created more jobs than every other state combined,” he said.

Conus Consultancy economist Pete Faulkner said Since January 2020 national employment had fallen 0.8 per cent while in Queensland it’s up 4 per cent.

The data indicates part time work is being transferred into fulltime roles. It showed 56,000 fulltime jobs were created in the month while 16,000 part time jobs were lost.

Significantly, the drop in the overall state unemployment occurred with improved participation rates.

IFM economist Alex Joiner said with vaccination rates rising and restrictions lifting this will likely be the worst of the aggregate impact on the labour force from ‘Delta’, anecdotally the rebound should commence in the October release.

“At 61.8 per cent the (national) participation rate hasn’t been this low since March 2001,” he said.

The head of labour statistics at the ABS, Bjorn Javis said the extended lockdowns in New South Wales, Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory had seen employment and hours worked both drop back below their pre-pandemic levels.

“In September, there were large falls in employment in Victoria (123,000 people) and New South Wales (25,000 people, following the 173,000 decline in August). This was partly offset by a 31,000 increase in Queensland, as conditions there recovered from the lockdown in early August,” he said.

“The low national unemployment rate continues to reflect reduced participation during the recent lockdowns, rather than strong labour market conditions.”

“Over the past three months, participation in the labour force has fallen by over 330,000 people, with employment falling by 281,000 people and unemployment falling by 53,000 people.

Beyond people losing their jobs, or working reduced or no hours, we continue to see how challenging it is for people without work to remain active within the labour market during lockdowns.”


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