The jobless rate in Queensland is now the highest in the country, with today’s data release from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showing unemployment rose marginally in September to 6.23 per cent (on a trend basis).
Queensland remains the only state or territory with an unemployment rate above 6 per cent. This comes at a time when national unemployment rates are falling, currently sitting at 5.1 per cent, the lowest it has been since April 2012.
Industry groups have been quick to voice their despair over the newly released figures.
Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland’s (CCIQ) Chief Economist, Dr Marcus Smith, says the disappointing figures have once again highlighted Queensland’s struggling economy.
“Queensland’s high unemployment is affecting businesses and the State’s economy in so many ways,” Dr Smith said.
“People are being personally affected, consumers are not spending, social problems become more prevalent and we find that the effects linger for years, if not decades.
“Unfortunately, small businesses tend to be impacted on a greater level than bigger corporations when the unemployment rate goes up, similar to the disproportionate effect felt by the more disadvantaged in our society.”
Dr Smith says in light of today’s negative data release, there will be a sense of optimism among the Queensland business community heading into the Christmas period.
“We’re hoping that businesses across the state are anticipating a roaring Christmas trade, if they aren’t already ramping up activity this season.
“What Queensland desperately needs right now is for all businesses across the State to do well. That’s the only way sustainable employment opportunities are created.”