TP human resources : Townsville Workforce Report – July 2018

TP human resources : Townsville Workforce Report – July 2018

In this report – Workforce brief, Construction projects update, Skills hard to find and Public investment in Townsville.

Townsville Region Brief

  • Job Numbers Steady
  • Trend Unemployment deteriorating over the quarter
  • Trend participation rate improving year on year
  • Employed to population ratio steady.
  • SEEK job ads for Townsville region improving
  • DS Economics Projects and Jobs list reinforces a more positive outlook for Townsville in 2018/19.

Townsville Workforce performance

Townsville unemployment rate is up 1% over the quarter to 9.5%, trending in the wrong direction. There are 11,300 unemployed people in Townsville region; 54% are females.

Townsville workforce performance in the year to July 2018 has improved, which is in contrast to 2013-2017 period when Townsville was loosing jobs and experienced negative net migration in the thousands. In the past year to July 2018 ABS data indicates Townsville region has created over 8,200 jobs. Almost 6,000 jobs were created for females while 2,500 were created for males.

While this is an improving job creation trend, the unemployment rate remains too high and still requires attention.

ABS data reveals that since the start of 2018 there has been over 1,900 jobs created in Townsville region but no real improvement in the important jobs to population ratio.

Townsville’s jobs to population ratio in July 2018 showed that many of the thousands of jobs being absorbed by locals and out of region workers, has slowed. We acknowledge that there is still a way to go before Townsville is in the “Goldilocks zone’. The jobs to population ratio of 58.7 is still below the long run average by 5.1 points and more than 10 points below the highest levels. There is a way to go to find a more enduring positive economic performance in Townsville but the expectations remain positive.

Townsville regions annual average unemployment rate is deteriorated and jumped 1% since May this year. This is 2.3% points better than the same time last year in May 2017 . There are around 11,300 people unemployed. There is a way to go to reduce that number to an acceptable level. Male unemployment is 8.5% and female unemployment 10.5%.

Based on this evidence Townsville regions economy and workforce is stalling and still has a way to go before it obtains its ‘Goldilocks Zone’. Townsville region has been and is likely to remain a job creating region especially in the mining, major construction projects and health sectors.

Local Jobs in Demand

There are 1264 jobs advertised on in the Townsville region. This is an 9% increase in Job adverts over the past month.

Job adverts for Trades and Services has jumped 25% in the month to 226 job adverts. The next highest job ads are for Healthcare and Medical jobs with 188 job adverts. Mining & Energy and Manufacturing & Transport both have 99 job adverts each and there are 109 job adverts for Hospitality positions.

In the trades section there were 18 Labourer positions advertised, 33 Electricians, 21 fitter and turner positions and 43 Auto Trades positions advertised.

Locally we are seeing strong demand for the following skills

Fitter and Turners



Auto Mechanics

Finance Professionals

Townsville Crane Count

Townsville has a crane index again. Townsville has not seen cranes on the horizon like this since the mid 2000’s. Both the private and public sector are contributing to this change. State government is investing over $700m in Townsville in 2018/19, the federal government is contributing over $600m and Local government is investing over $432m. Together the public sector is contributing over $1.5 billion. The private sector is contributing through health, retail, food and renewable energy projects. The NAIF is also contributing with a $97m building at JCU.

Table 1 Selection of TSV projects starting in 12 -18 months

Major projects$MIndustrySector
Haughton Flood Plain$ 514Transportpublic
NAIF JCU building$ 97Educationpublic
ATO$ 25Public Adminpublic
Water Pipeline$ 235Waterpublic
Mater Hospital$ 57Healthprivate
Tafe NQ Pimlico campus$ 32Educationpublic
Kennedy Energy Park$ 160Energyprivate
Total$ 1,120

Source DS Economics

The Townsville crane count now stands at five, up five on the same time last year and with more cranes to come. Five of the projects in Table 1 are likely to need cranes. Around Townsville’s major projects, we have counted two cranes on the stadium site, one on a Fairfield retail site, one on a restaurant/micro brewery in South Townsville and one on the water treatment plant south of Townsville.

BIS Oxford recently identified that Northern Queensland was forecast to experience a more than tripling in construction activity over the coming year. Townsville is experiencing significant, major project construction growth and several other reports agree that the current cycle has a lot more left in it.

Townsville is already experiencing some skills shortages in construction including electricians (associated with solar farms) and other building trades.

Public Investment in Townsville

Also, in June 2018, the Townsville City Council allocated over $432m in Local Public Investment (LPI). This amount of capital expenditure is more than the combined infrastructure expenditure for Rockhampton, Cairns and Mackay’s capital expenditure ($426m) for the same time period.

Combined, the state and local government public investment in the Townsville region amounts to over $1 billion in 2018-19.

Table 2 Continuing Major Projects and public investment Townsville region

Major Project$MIndustrySector
Townsville Stadium$ 250Entertainmentpublic
Local Government Investment$ 433Publicpublic
State Pubic Investment$ 746Publicpublic
Total$ 1,429

Source DS Economics

Two new federal public projects have recently been announced or awarded. The $514.3m Haughton Flood Plain upgrade has been awarded to The Infrastructure Group (TIG), a joint venture between Bielby, BMD Constructions, JF Hull and Albem Pty Ltd with ARUP Group and HDR Inc. The Australian Taxation Office is building a new $25 million office on Flinders street west. The federal government is also contributing $100m to the cost of the new Townsville stadium.