Queensland

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The Queensland graphic shows 51% of jobs are regional. 16% of workers are aged 15 to 24 years. 17% of workers are self-employed.
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31% of workers hold a bachelor degree or higher. 32% of workers hold a certificate 3 or higher qualification. 6% of workers hold an other qualification. 31% of workers do not hold a post-school qualification.

 

Top employing industries in Queensland

  Employ’t May 2021 Share of total 5 year change to May 2021
Industries  '000 %  '000 %
Health Care and Social Assistance 385.5 15 70.0 22.2
Retail Trade 296.2 11 41.2 16.2
Construction 234.9 9 14.4 6.5
Education and Training 210.8 8 19.0 9.9
Accommodation and Food Services 210.5 8 43.4 26.0
Professional, Scientific and Technical Services 197.3 7 39.7 25.2
Manufacturing 193.1 7 26.8 16.1
Public Administration and Safety 148.9 6 -8.5 -5.4
Transport, Postal and Warehousing 140.2 5 2.5 1.8
Other Services 104.5 4 -4.6 -4.3
Administrative and Support Services 88.3 3 4.6 5.5
Mining 83.0 3 32.7 65.0
Financial and Insurance Services 79.5 3 19.5 32.4
Wholesale Trade 77.3 3 10.4 15.6
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing 60.8 2 -1.1 -1.7
Rental, Hiring and Real Estate Services 58.1 2 7.5 14.8
Arts and Recreation Services 40.4 2 0.0 0.1
Electricity, Gas, Water and Waste Services 31.5 1 -0.8 -2.4
Information Media and Telecommunications 26.0 1 -6.1 -19.0

Queensland is the third largest employing state in Australia, with around half the jobs located in Brisbane and a further 13% in the Gold Coast area.

Given the size and diversity of the Queensland economy, employment opportunities exist across all industries. Health Care and Social Assistance is the largest employing industry in Queensland, with 15% of the state’s employment. There are many roles within this industry that do not require medical qualifications or extensive prior experience. Some of these include Receptionists, General Clerks, Kitchenhands and Commercial Cleaners.

Construction is another large employer, representing around 9% of total employment.

Workers in Queensland are less likely than the national average to hold a bachelor degree or higher, but are more likely to have a certificate III or higher qualification. There is a higher proportion of females employed in this state than the national average and around one in three Queensland workers are employed part-time.

It is worth noting that Queenslanders are more likely to be self-employed than workers in the rest of Australia, with around one in six employed Queenslanders working as their own boss.

The impact of COVID-19 on the Queensland labour market

Following the onset of COVID-19, employment in Queensland fell sharply between March 2020 and the trough in May 2020 (down by 198,400 or 7.7%). Over the same period, 154,600 people left the labour force, pushing the participation rate down, from 65.5% in March 2020, to 61.7% in May 2020. In addition, the unemployment rate rose, from 5.8% in March 2020, to 7.8% in May 2020, before peaking at 8.7% in July 2020, the highest rate since May 2001.

Reflecting the decline in COVID-19 cases, and subsequent easing in restrictions in the state, employment increased by 293,400 between May 2020 and July 2021, and is 95,000 (or 3.7%) above its pre-pandemic level. Moreover, the participation rate in Queensland increased to 66.6% in July 2021, while the unemployment rate is now below the rate recorded in March 2020, standing at 5.2% in July 2021.

While the Internet Vacancy Index fell by 1.8% over the month to July 2021 (reflecting the lockdown in parts of Queensland at that time) job advertisements remain 1.5 times higher than their pre-pandemic level. Despite the recent absence of community transmission of COVID-19, some uncertainty surrounds the outlook for the Queensland labour market, given rising cases in New South Wales and Victoria (and ongoing border closures), which may also dampen economic and labour market activity in the state.

Employment by region, Queensland

  Employment Employment Profile Educational
  Employment May 2021 5 year change to May 2021 Part-time Female Aged 15 to 24 years Aged 55 years or older Bachelor degree or higher Cert III or higher VET qual No post-school qual
Region '000 '000 % % % % % % % %
Greater Brisbane 1287 102.1 8.6 31 48 16 17 38 28 28
Cairns 127.9 20.6 19.2 33 48 13 24 16 45 39
Darling Downs - Maranoa 64.1 0.2 0.3 32 48 14 29 11 35 41
Fitzroy 117.3 3.4 3 33 46 14 25 23 38 31
Gold Coast 342 29.4 9.4 35 50 17 19 29 33 32
Mackay - Isaac - Whitsunday 96 7.8 8.9 27 45 14 18 14 47 38
Queensland - Outback 38 3.1 8.9 19 44 11 24 7 54 44
Sunshine Coast 182 8.1 4.7 40 50 17 25 36 30 26
Toowoomba 75.2 4.2 6 29 46 12 21 29 40 29
Townsville 112.9 13.2 13.3 33 49 21 21 20 28 47
Wide Bay 113.3 1.5 1.4 35 50 14 27 21 37 36
Queensland 2644.6 290 12.3 32 48 16 20 31 32 31
Australia 13125.1 1177.9 9.9 32 47 14 20 36 29 29

Sources: ABS, Labour Force (seasonally adjusted and annual averages of original data); ABS, Characteristics of Employment; ABS, Education and Work; National Skills Commission, Internet Vacancy Index.