Cairns Job Growth Builds as Development Fuel 2019 Growth

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Cairns is well positioned to enjoy a strong 2019 as elevated economic activity continues to hurtle on the back of a surging jobs market in an analysis of the region by the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland (CCIQ) chief economist, Dr Marcus Smith.

The CCIQ analysis coupled with research from the Cairns Chamber of Commerce notes that a series of major developments, most notably the tri-hotel development currently being undertaken by Crystalbrook Collection, have helped the region record six consecutive months of full-time job gains.

Dr Smith whose work with Conus Consultancy Services/CBC Staff Selection director, Peter Faulkner said the region is finishing 2018 in a stronger position than a year earlier as business sentiment weighed on business confidence.

“Cairns has seen gains in construction and the real estate focused sector which account foralmost a third of the region’s 13,650 businesses.

“Whilst tourism’s relationship with the Australian dollar is conventionally touted as a key driver affecting Cairns, it is interesting to note that this is not borne out in the analysis of employment outcomes.

CCIQ notes Cairns unemployment rate is below average and, on a comparative measure, currently has a lower unemployment rate next to Townsville and Brisbane –although there is not a significant difference between Cairns and Townsville’s averages over time.

Cairns Chamber of Commerce president, Nick Loukas said the report by CCIQ reflects the experience of many businesses in the area but the challenge to maintain momentum in the near term will be key. “Obviously it is pleasing to see Cairns performing well on a number of key metrics but it really is about ensuring the new developments we are seeing currently set the regional economy up for further advances and opportunities in the future,” Mr Loukas said.

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