Toowoomba Mayor, Paul Antonio has welcomed a drop in the region’s latest unemployment figures, including a significant fall in youth unemployment, following the release of March 2021 jobs data by the Queensland Government.
Mayor Antonio (pictured) said Toowoomba’s March unemployment rate of 5% was the lowest of the 19 areas across Queensland. It compares with Toowoomba’s most recent unemployment figures of 5.4% in February and 5.8% in January 2021. The average Queensland unemployment rate was 7.3% for March 2021.
He said the March 2021 youth unemployment rate of 13% was a decrease of 8.5% over the past year and well down on the September 2020 peak of 27.2%. The average Queensland youth unemployment rate for March 2021 was 15.5%.
“The other encouraging aspect is that the Toowoomba youth unemployment rate had the largest percentage point decrease across all 19 Queensland statistical areas,” said Mayor Antonio, who also chairs Toowoomba Regional Council’s Economic Development portfolio.
“The Toowoomba youth unemployment rate is now the seventh lowest across Queensland and has fallen below the average Queensland youth unemployment rate for two consecutive months now, the first time that has happened since August 2019.”
The latest figures indicate that employment has almost recovered to pre-COVID levels. (The figures are based on 12-month moving averages from ABS data)
“The Toowoomba area has seen the largest annual growth in employment across Queensland’s 19 statistical areas in March 2021 with an additional 11,800 people employed, which equates to 18.7% growth over the year. (The state figure was a decrease of 1.1% over the same time),” the Mayor said.
“The participation rate in Toowoomba in December 2020 was 61.6%, which is an increase of 9.1% over the year.
“The participation rate started falling in December 2018 before reaching a low point in February 2020, followed by the recent turnaround.
“The March figures represent the fifth month in a row that the Toowoomba area had recorded the largest annual percentage growth in employment across Queensland.”
Mayor Antonio said continued investment and confidence from private enterprise across many different sectors of the Region’s economy, especially the current demand for building industry services, would underpin employment growth.