Business Confidence Up

2020 Vision for Townsville’s unemployment

tsv stadium
  • Positive end to 2019 for Women
  • ABS data for December 2019


The monthly unemployment rate for Townsville Region produced a positive end to 2019 for Townsville.  ABS data for December reveals females posted very good results, but males were still struggling, operating outside their Regional Adjusted Full Employment Range.

Looking into 2020, Townsville’s has a solid list of Significant Construction Projects locked in by federal government funding with a mix of large and small private sector projects.

TP Human Capital Managing Director Clayton Cook said “Townsville regions December 2019 Unemployment rate fell to 6.2%”. This drop is thought to be driven by retail, restaurant/cafe activity associated with end of year functions, school holidays, and end of year property and busy bond cleaning opportunities. Townsville regions females posted very good unemployment figures at 3%, which is well below full employment stastically.

Females are operating well below Regional Adjusted Full Employment Range. Males are still a challenge with higher unemployment but, with opportunity in, significant construction projects that are likely to bring better outlook for trained up competitively skilled people, looking for work."

Our 12 month moving average unemployment rate (ABS) is currently at 8.0% as of January 2020, compared to Queenslands 6.1% and a National unemployment rate of 5.1%.   So while things are looking promising for Townsville in the future and confidence is returning, we still have a fair way to go in terms of unemployment results.

The unemployment rate in Townsville SA4 in December 2019 was 8.0 per cent, a decrease of 0.5 percentage point over the year. The unemployment rate for this area was the fourth-highest of all 19 SA4s within Queensland.

Australia's trend unemployment rate decreased to 5.1 per cent in December 2019, according to the latest information released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) as at 23 January 2020.



Regional Economist Colin Dwyer said, “In 2018/19 SGS economics estimated that Townsville regional economy grew by 0.7%; a positive but can do better performance. Looking forward, Townsville has solid residential flood recovery work still to complete and Townsville region significant projects portfolio is much better than 2013-16.  Townsville future crane count is still looking healthy.

Townsvilles unemployment rate has improved a massive amount since 2016 when we had one of the highest unemployment rates in Australia sometimes touching 16%.   Most Townsville locals will agree it’s been like living through an isolated recession the last 7 years with the rest of Australia performing strongly.



Mr Dwyer pointed to Local Transport and Defence Industry related projects being crucial, long overdue, federal public sector accelerators that will boost jobs, bolster confidence and drive economic activity.  Over $1.4b* in mostly federal transport projects have started or are commencing in 2020. Over $1.2B* in overseas and federal defence projects are starting in 2020/21. Many other private sector and PPP’s are commencing or underway, including Sun Metal expansion, Seaview renovation, Ferry Terminal upgrade and Airport renovation.


Mr Cook said, “Townsville regions monthly unemployment rate for December 2019 was positive, especially for female workers.  While one set of numbers doesn’t make a trend, its positive to see the opportunity presenting themselves and a brighter future in a variety of industries across Townsville’s economy."


*’ DS Economics Significant Construction Project List January 2020