October 23, 2018
The South Burnett’s unemployment rate has risen from 8.4 per cent to 9.2 per cent over the past year, according to the Federal Government.
The results are contained in the latest quarterly release of Small Area Labour Markets (SALM) data compiled by the Department of Jobs and Small Business.
The SALM data shows that between June 2017 and June this year, regional unemployment rose from 1158 to 1289 jobseekers, an increase of 131.
The drop in employment comes against the background of a fall in the region’s population over the past four years.
During this period, the region’s population declined from 32,699 (2013) to 32,575 (2017), a drop of 124 residents.
The latest figures also show a seven-year trend towards a higher average regional unemployment rate, from slightly above 7 per cent in 2011 to more than 9 per cent in 2018.
However, the figures are not quite as bad as they look.
According to SALM, the South Burnett’s labour force in June 2011 was 13,613 people, while the labour force in June 2018 was 14,013 – an increase of just 400 people.
The South Burnett is also performing better than most of its Wide Bay-Burnett brethren.
Over the past year, Gympie’s unemployment increased by one percent from 7.9 to 8.9 per cent; Fraser Coast by 1.1 per cent (9.6 to 10.7) and Bundaberg by 0.9 per cent (8.7 to 9.6).
The only two Wide Bay-Burnett regions to record a lower annual increase were the North Burnett, where unemployment rose by 0.6 per cent (4.7 to 5.3); and Cherbourg, where it rose by 0.4 per cent (11.6 to 12.0).