This article is from the Townsville Bulletin issue of Tuesday, 25 Aug
The number of job advertisements in Townsville has recovered significantly since the COVID-19 pandemic first impacted the region, according to recruitment firm TP Human Capital.
The Townsville firm charts the level of new job advertisements on online website Seek, finding the numbers per week have quadrupled since a low in mid-April.
TP Human Capital managing director Clayton Cook said Townsville had experienced an amazing recovery in new job advertisements and was one of the better performing job markets around the state.
“We have been saying all through this pandemic that Townsville is in a strong position to recover quicker than many other regions,” Mr Cook said.
“There are still many challenges and opportunities ahead and recovery is still likely to be gradual (but) local job adverts are one positive indicator.”
Mr Cook said the number of new Townsville job advertisements peaked in March just before the COVID-19 social distancing restrictions were introduced.
“From a low of 80 new job adverts in mid-April, Townsville has improved to over 350 new job ads in mid-August. Importantly it’s diversified jobs growth,” Mr Cook said.
Key sectors for new job ads included trades, healthcare education, administration, plant and machinery operators, child carers, federal and state government jobs, chefs and cooks, mining maintenance, retail assistants, automotive trades, electricians and labourers.
“Four years ago Townsville job adverts were at rock bottom. Today it is a different story and, positively, the jobs growth is diversified,” Mr Cook said.
Economist Colin Dwyer of DS Economics said Mackay had consistently recorded more new jobs than Townsville since April, peaking around 360 a week in July.
But he said Townsville’s rate of recovery was faster and now was equal in numbers to Mackay, up to about 350 new job adverts a week.
“The Townsville region has a healthy level of significant projects and is better placed than many other regions to recover quicker from COVID-19 restrictions,” Mr Dwyer said.
“There are still challenges and opportunities on the economic horizon. We still have concerns for when Job-Keeper is adjusted, bank mortgage arrangements change and any disruption to commercial activity from the looming local and US elections.”
Mr Dwyer said the four month average unemployment rate in Townsville was 6.9 per cent, down slightly on the 7 per cent recorded in April.
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