Monthly Market Review January 2024

Posted on Wednesday, February 14, 2024 by EditorNo comments

As the new year started, Central Queensland found itself in the midst of a bustling job market, gearing up for what is typically one of its busiest seasonal periods, from February to May.  The region continues to witness growth and resilience despite challenges, as reflected in recent labor force data released by the Queensland government.

The latest data

According to the latest figures, employment in Central Queensland has seen an uplift of 1.3% compared to the same period last year.  However, it's important to note that the region's unemployment rate has climbed to 4.9%, marking a 1.5% annual increase, and stands over 20% higher than the state average. Despite this, there's a silver lining in the form of a rising participation rate, currently at 69.5%, indicating more people are actively engaging in the workforce.

The January release of the Internet Vacancy Index provides further insight into the job market dynamics. Although there has been a slight decrease of 2.0% in job advertisements nationally, Central Queensland appears to fare better with only a 0.4% decline in Queensland. This data, sourced from platforms such as Seek, CareerOne, and Workforce Australia, paints a picture of robust demand despite the marginal downturn.

A closer look at local data tells a story of its own. The Jobs in Central Queensland platform experienced a notable 28% surge in job listings from December to January, as businesses resumed operations post the summer break. What's truly remarkable is the staggering 75% increase in job advertisements compared to January 2023, underscoring both heightened workforce demand and the growing preference for locally targeted job advertising channels.

So, what does all this mean for Central Queensland's job market?

Firstly, it's evident that despite the challenges posed by the shift to renewable energy sources and other economic uncertainties, the region continues to exhibit resilience and adaptability. The steady rise in employment figures reflects the underlying strength of key sectors and industries driving the local economy.

When it comes to sectors, Central Queensland boasts a diverse landscape with significant contributions from resources, agriculture, tourism, and healthcare. The mining and resources sector, in particular, remains a powerhouse, driving employment and economic growth in areas like Gladstone and Mackay. With ongoing projects and investments, this sector continues to offer promising opportunities for job seekers with the right skills and expertise.

In addition to resources, agriculture plays a vital role, especially in areas like Rockhampton, known as the 'beef capital' of Australia. The agricultural sector not only provides employment but also contributes to the region's rich cultural heritage and identity.

Tourism, another cornerstone of Central Queensland's economy, has been gradually rebounding as domestic travel picks up momentum. With the pristine beaches of the Capricorn Coast, the tourism sector offers a plethora of job opportunities, particularly in hospitality and service industries.

Furthermore, healthcare and allied services continue to be in high demand, driven by an aging population and increasing health awareness. From hospitals to aged care facilities, there's a growing need for skilled professionals to cater to the healthcare needs of Central Queensland's residents.

As we navigate through the first quarter of 2024, it's imperative for job seekers to stay abreast of market trends and emerging opportunities. Upskilling and reskilling remain crucial in an ever-evolving job market, with emphasis on digital literacy and transferable skills.

The Wider Economic Outlook

A recent economic report from BOQ (Bank of Queensland) indicates that the Aussie economy is likely to end the year in a better state than it started. 

Reports indicate that the government is considering additional aid to address the cost of living. Household disposable income is expected to see a positive upturn in the latter part of this year. 

There remains a significant amount of construction and engineering projects in progress, including infrastructure development for transportation and environmental initiatives. The robust utilisation of capacity is supporting capital expenditure, and while El Nino's impact hasn't been as severe as anticipated, certain regions have experienced significant flooding, which has partly offset these positive developments.

What are the potential economic risks for the year ahead?

There's a chance that despite forecasts, consumer spending could surpass expectations due to increased wealth, a robust job market, and pent-up demand. This likelihood could further materialise if interest rates are lowered sooner than anticipated, or if fiscal policies become more accommodating.

However, a major concern stems from the global economic landscape. The European economy teeters on the brink of recession, while indications suggest that US consumers are beginning to feel economic strain. Despite significant economic stimulus from the Chinese government in 2023, there hasn't been a substantial uptick in economic activity, leading to expectations of further fiscal and monetary interventions in the coming year.

Arguably, the most significant risk lies in the event that fiscal and monetary policy support falls short of expectations. This could be primarily driven by the inflation outlook for 2024, which, although experiencing a rapid decline, is projected to stabilise at a slower rate than previously anticipated.

In conclusion

Central Queensland stands poised for growth and prosperity in the year ahead, buoyed by resilient industries, a dynamic job market, and a resilient workforce.

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

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