JOBS GROWTH: Hinkler MP Keith Pitt says a number of job-creating projects are coming online.
JOBS GROWTH: Hinkler MP Keith Pitt says a number of job-creating projects are coming online.

Bundy jobs data doesn’t paint full picture, says Pitt

DECEMBER last year saw 1989 vacant jobs advertised throughout the Central Queensland region, which includes Bundaberg, across three online job advertising websites; SEEK, CareerOne and Australian JobSearch.

The data comes courtesy of the Department of Employment's monthly updates, and while it is not definitive, it is information indicative of a region in dire need of jobs growth.

The Central Queensland region defined by the Department of Small Business covers an area with a coastline from the southern tip of Fraser Island up to Bowen and roughly as far west as Carnarvon National Park.

Hinkler MP Keith Pitt said reporting on jobs data was something that needed to be approached very carefully to ensure apples were compared to apples.

"The data released [on Wednesday] is only an indication of job ads from internet sites SEEK, CareerOne and Australian JobSearch but it doesn't reflect the total number of job advertisements because it doesn't include jobs advertised through newspapers, employer websites, job boards and word of mouth," Mr Pitt said.

And he's right, the numbers are only collected from three job advertising websites, including JobSearch, the website used by Centrelink jobseekers, hence some leeway must be given.

A survey conducted in 2018 looking at employer's recruitment needs and experiences show only 55 per cent of vacancies were advertised via recruitment websites and job boards, with 32 per cent advertised through word of mouth and 13 per cent through social media.

Assuming the figure of 1989 advertised jobs represents 55 per cent, 100 per cent would total 2884 jobs.

The survey also estimates one in five jobs are not advertised.

Giving the figure of 2884 an additional 20 per cent should give a fairly good metric of available jobs in Central Queensland - 3461 vacancies.

According to the Queensland Government Statistician's Office, by the June quarter last year, the total number of Newstart recipients in Bundaberg alone was 4611.

But there is some measure of hope on the horizon, with Mr Pitt pointing to a number of job creating projects.

"While people could think that it is only the $173 million Hinkler Regional Deal which is set to create jobs here, we have a large number of other projects currently in planning stages and others under construction that are funded by the Federal Government which will bring significant numbers of new jobs into the electorate," Mr Pitt said.

"These include Bundaberg Brewed Drinks new mega brewery which the Federal Government committed $19 million to the $156 million project, which will deliver 213 construction jobs and 147 ongoing jobs.

"Macadamias Australia has major construction underway for the new $11.7 million processing facility and tourism venture which will create 339 direct and indirect jobs, including 93 ongoing jobs."

He also mentioned the Hinkler Regional Deal as "set to create jobs" and mentioned a number of other large projects currently in planning stages.

"The jobs to come from these projects are starting now in construction especially, but ongoing long term jobs are expected to flow later this year," he said.

"This is an exciting time for the region, and it is great that we have been able to chart a clear delivery plan for the infrastructure and new business opportunities the region needs to support its future prosperity and protect the lifestyle we all enjoy," Mr Pitt said.

Acting Queensland Employment Minister Grace Grace said it was encouraging to see the unemployment rate in the Wide Bay drop by 0.8 per cent in the past year, attributing the drop to the state government's investment in skills and jobs programs.

"More than 5500 locals in Wide Bay have a job thanks to Skilling Queenslanders for Work and Back to Work," Ms Grace said.

"And since July 2019 almost 300 young people in Bundaberg are gaining a qualification for free thanks to our free TAFE and free apprenticeships initiative.

"We want more locals to be able to get a job and that's why we are backing our local businesses through our successful grants programs, our new $885 million payroll tax package and we are removing the training cost to take on a young apprentice - we want to support businesses to be able to create more local jobs."

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