Monthly Market Review December 2023

Posted on Tuesday, January 9, 2024 by EditorNo comments

As well as a time to hopefully enjoy some valuable rest and festive celebrations with family and friends, December 2023 was quite an eventful month.  With political leadership changes at a State level, promises for increasing liveability and new data highlighting the ongoing complex employment challenges and opportunities that face our region. 

New Premier takes the reins

With the recent resignation of Annastacia Palaszczuk, Steven Miles was sworn in as the 40th Premier of Queensland on the 15th of December. It is evident that Miles’ priorities lie in the liveability of Queensland, vowing to reduce emissions and address youth crime in his first speech as Premier, with a new target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions across Queensland by 75% by 2035 being legislated.

“By legislating this target we are making a very clear statement to the world that Queensland is the place to do business if you’re looking to use clean energy to create prosperity,” he said.

With projects such as Rio Tinto and Sumitomo’s pilot hydrogen pilot plant in Gladstone, aiming to reduce carbon emissions, the Central Queensland region is highly likely to be a continued focal region in this journey.  This will likely cause market growth and business opportunities with an increase in demand for skills in the renewable energy and construction industries.

Whilst the transition to renewable energy will have long-term positive outcomes on liveability in Queensland, the concern is that employment could be at risk as workers in non-renewable industries are likely to face job displacement if the transition to renewable energy occurs, without a very effective, multi-faceted approach from the government.

The latest facts and figures

On 21st December the Queensland Government Statistician’s Office released Central Queensland’s statistics for November 2023, detailing negative trends for the CQ’s labour force from October to November this year.

Unemployment is inauspicious from October to November with a 3% increase in the total unemployed persons in Central Queensland and a drastic 44.3% increase in the total unemployed persons from November 2022-2023, while the total working age population of the region only saw a growth of 2.3%.  In November 2022, the unemployment rate of Queensland was 3.3%, with our region clocking in at 3.6%, 9% higher than the state average.  As of November 2023, our unemployment rate is now 25% higher than the state average.

While unemployment rates have seen a rise, so has employment, with a 3.3% annual increase in Central Queensland, compared to the states 2.6% average.  The participation rate has also risen by 1.7% in the past year, along with the population rising at 2.3% annually.

This complex set of dynamics is indicative of the lack of lower skilled and entry-level job opportunities in the region as the pace of job creation struggles to match the growth of job seeker numbers in Central Queensland.  The regions transient workforce depends on large scale projects and industry to provide jobs for the community, which could also be a cause for the large fluctuation in employment over the past year.  It is also important to note that Central Queensland’s participation in the workforce is 3.1% higher than that of Queensland as a whole, which could explain the higher unemployment rate in our hard-working region.

Closing Loopholes

Employers should be aware that The Fair Work Legislation Amendment (closing Loopholes) Bill 2023 passed through the senate on the 7th December 2023.  What does this mean for you?  Essentially, the bill is going to amend laws in the Fair Work Act 2009, part of the bill helping to deliver fairer wages for labour hire workers, with a ‘same job, same pay’ approach and will require labour hire workers to be paid the same as those directly employed on a workplace pay deal.  This does introduce a degree of uncertainty for employers in distinguishing between casual and permanent employees and between employees and independent contractors.  Businesses may need to seek professional advice to determine if and how these changes will affect them. 


As we know and appreciate, Central Queensland is a region of endless possibility and fantastic live-ability.  With a difficult transition to renewable energy and decarbonisation on the rise, the region is positioning itself to be at the forefront of these new markets.  In the long term this is likely to prove beneficial, however in the shorter term this could bring some volatility for a workforce that has historically been driven by fossil fuel industries and non-renewable energy sources.

The focus and priority of the new State government could push the region forward into further prosperity, however nothing is certain and Central Queensland’s future relies on adept strategy and decision-making to smoothly transition to renewable energy and simultaneously battle the seemingly dwindling employment rates facing the region.

Jobs In Central Queensland offer a holistic approach to your recruitment and talent attraction requirements. 

For more information and insights about local job opportunities Register

Previous PostNext Post

No comments on "Monthly Market Review December 2023"