Monthly Market Review March 2024

Posted on Monday, April 8, 2024 by EditorNo comments

CQ Employment Trends amidst National Insights

The latest Internet Vacancy Index report, published by Jobs and Skills Australia, was released recently on 20 March.  The report sheds light on the shifting dynamics of the Australian labour market, impacting regions like ours here in Central Queensland. As the period of record growth in online job advertisements following the COVID-19 pandemic has now finished, Central Queensland grapples with its own set of challenges and opportunities. 

Despite a national decrease in online job advertisements by 2.3% in February 2024, Central Queensland remains relatively robust, reflecting the broader trend of high vacancy numbers compared to pre-pandemic levels. Presently, the region boasts around 50% more advertisements in the labour market compared to the monthly average for 2019. However, this positive outlook is tinged with caution as vacancy numbers have decreased in five of the past six months nationally, signalling a potential slowdown in recruitment activity.

The downward trend in recruitment activity extends across all states and territories, with Central Queensland experiencing its own nuances. While the region may not have encountered the steepest declines seen in regions in the Northern Territory or the Australian Capital Territory, it's not immune to the broader economic shifts. Notably, metropolitan areas continue to dominate recruitment activity, with Central Queensland following this trend. 

In terms of occupational demand, Central Queensland follows the national trend, albeit with some deviations. There is a slight increase in vacancies for Managers, indicating ongoing demand for leadership roles. However, in particular, the “Community and Personal Service Workers” category experiences a noticeable decrease, aligning with broader national patterns. 

One striking aspect of the Central Queensland employment landscape is its resilience in the face of broader national trends. While metropolitan areas have experienced a more significant decline in job advertisements over the last 12 months, Central Queensland has managed to maintain relatively steady employment opportunities. This continues to underscore the region's diversified economy, with sectors like mining, renewable energy, and tourism contributing to its resilience.

Unlocking Potential within Economic Realities

The Queensland Resources Council (QRC) recently released a report highlighting both the immense potential and the challenges faced by Queensland's resources sector. As the world undergoes a transition towards low-emission technologies, Queensland's abundance of resources positions it to play a pivotal role in driving future economic growth and job creation. However, the report also underscores significant hurdles such as uncompetitive government policies and regulatory uncertainties that threaten to impede investment and hinder employment opportunities.

According to the QRC's State of the Sector report for the December 2023 quarter, two-thirds of member CEOs anticipate an increase in demand for commodities like coal over the next three years. Key export commodities such as steelmaking coal, gas, and thermal coal are expected to maintain their prominence, with additional growth potential identified in copper, silver, lead, zinc, gold, aluminium, and bauxite.

Despite these promising prospects, Queensland's resources sector faces challenges stemming from policy and regulatory environments. The report highlights concerns over the impact of uncompetitive government policies, including the imposition of high coal royalty tax rates in mid-2022. Such policies have contributed to a significant slowdown in investment and expansion plans within the sector, with only 17% of mining and energy companies planning to expand their operations in Queensland in the coming year, down from 35% in the previous year.

Janette Hewson, CEO of the QRC, emphasised the urgent need for collaboration between the resources sector and the State Government to address these challenges and ensure Queensland remains an attractive investment destination. Hewson stressed the importance of creating a stable and internationally competitive policy environment to restore confidence among investors and stimulate long-term growth and employment opportunities in the state.

While the report highlights concerns regarding policy uncertainty, rising costs, and skilled worker shortages, it also offers a glimmer of hope. Seventy-two percent of resources companies surveyed expressed their intention to increase procurement from local and Indigenous businesses over the next 12 months. This commitment not only reinforces the sector's contribution to regional economies but also underscores its potential to foster local economic development and job creation.

Ultimately, the resources sector remains a cornerstone of Queensland's economy, contributing nearly $117 billion and supporting over 530,000 jobs directly or indirectly. However, to fully realise its potential and navigate the challenges ahead, concerted efforts are needed to address policy uncertainties, reduce regulatory burdens, and foster a supportive environment for long-term investment and growth in Queensland's resources sector.


Looking ahead, Central Queensland must navigate the evolving employment market with agility and foresight. Adapting to technological disruptions, addressing skill gaps, and fostering regional development will be critical in sustaining the region's prosperity. Collaborative efforts between government, industry, and educational institutions are essential to ensure Central Queensland remains a vibrant hub for employment and economic growth in the months and years to come.

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

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