Unemployment rate drops in Townsville as city continues COVID recovery

This article is from the Townsville Bulletin issue of Friday, 25 Sep, Tony Raggatt.
Clayton Cook Townsville has added 15,000 workers over the past 3 years
TP Human Capital managing director Clayton Cook

The number of people in work in Townsville increased about 4 per cent to 113,600 people, latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show.

While monthly regional jobless rate data is unreliable, the bureau’s 12-month average to August puts the unemployment rate in the Townsville region at 6.8 per cent, down from 7.1 per cent for the same period to August last year.

TP Human Capital Director Clayton Cook said the region was powering ahead with significant projects and had been in a good position to be able to stage multiple large events including the recent ­supercars and Jeff Horn-Tim Tszyu boxing match.

Mr Cook said most of the improvement in the number of people employed would have come from sectors such as catering, cleaning, transport, labouring and administrative services.

Economist Colin Dwyer said the data was a big improvement from three years ago when the jobless rate hit almost 12 per cent.

But he said there was still concern about the looming reductions in the federal government’s JobKeeper payments and cut of the coronavirus supplement in JobSeeker.

Mr Dwyer said modelling indicated the changes would cut between $8m and $10m a week from the Townsville economy.

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