Article Townsville Bulletin May 1 2021 Tony Raggatt

The demand for workers has hit a near 10-year high in Townsville as consumer and business confidence rebounds, helping to lift the number of jobs, recruitment expert Clayton Cook says.

The demand for workers has hit a near 10-year high in Townsville as consumer and business confidence rebounds, helping to lift the number of jobs, recruitment expert Clayton Cook says.

Mr Cook was commenting on the release of a Regional Australia Institute report which finds the availability of jobs is at an all-time high across regional Australia.

The institute says 66,200 jobs were available in regional towns and cities in March, the largest number since it began charting job numbers through the Internet Vacancy Index.

In the Far North region based on Cairns and Townsville, more than 5000 jobs were available.

Institute CEO Liz Ritchie said job numbers were surpassing the demand generated by the mining construction boom a decade ago.

“Regional job vacancies now account for nearly one third of all vacancies across the country. The last time the labour market was this strong was during the mining construction boom in 2011-2012,” Ms Ritchie said.

She said the current strength was broadly based across all states and territories and occupations with the greatest demand being for professionals and skilled tradespeople.

Mr Cook, managing director of TPI Human Capital, said the current amount of job ads in Townsville were the highest since 2012-13.

Job ads were running around the 1700 mark in both Townsville and Cairns, he said.