Job vacancies remain at long-term averages in Queensland.
Job vacancies remain at long-term averages in Queensland.

Why are job vacancies trundling along in Qld?

QUEENSLAND has seen a dip in job vacancies over the past three months, contrasting with growth across the nation.

The latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows 36,800 vacancies in the three months to February in Queensland.

That's down 3.2 per cent from the previous quarter and up 1 per cent compared to twelve months earlier.

Despite a rising population Queensland's job vacancy levels remain stuck near long-term quarterly averages of 35,000 jobs, according to the Chamber of Commerce and Industry Queensland.

"This latest report is reflective more of the inability of the private sector to generate jobs," CCIQ's advocacy chief Dan Petrie said.

He linked several reasons to the difference nationally, including Queensland having lower levels of spending on engineering and construction work compared to other states. Other states had a larger presence of head offices of companies, he added.

In Queensland the level of public service vacancies remained largely flat over the year. For private sector jobs, there was a quarterly dip but the increase from 12 months earlier was only 300 vacancies.

On a seasonally adjusted basis, job vacancies rose 1.4 per cent over the three months to February, a solid rate of growth but far lower than that of a year ago.

Employers advertised a record 245,300 positions.

Private sector growth of 1.8 per cent offset a 1.7 per cent decline in the public sector, although the overall rate of growth was marginally lower that the 1.5 per cent in the November quarter - and far below the 5.2 per cent recorded a year ago.

"These data support the RBA's view that the labour market will continue to improve, and provide an offset to the drag from reduced housing activity," NAB economist Kaixin Owyong said.

Ms Owyong said she still believed the Reserve Bank of Australia will cut the cash rate twice by November to a new all-time low of 1.0 per cent. "We still believe the RBA is too optimistic on the economic outlook given the slowdown in growth," she said.

But CommSec chief economist Craig James argued the solid jobs market "means that the Reserve Bank is likely to remain on the interest rate sidelines". "There doesn't appear a near term risk of people losing jobs in a significant way, in turn prompting lower spending, lower business revenues and lower business profits," he said.



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