48k jobs up for grabs: Qld’s employment boom
There are more job vacancies in Queensland than at any time since 1983 however the state lags the nation in creating new positions following the easing of COVID restrictions.
New Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show Queensland job vacancies reached 47,900 in the November 2020 quarter, a 14 per cent rise over the three months.
Nationally, job vacancies shot past pre-COVID levels, jumping 23 per cent to 254,000 in the three months through November.
There were 227,000 vacancies in the February quarter, the last before the economy shut down to stop the spread of the virus.
ABS head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis said the spike reflected the rapid recovery in labour demand in the second half of 2020 and job shortages in industries such as agriculture, where farmers have been crying out for workers.
Major agriculture industry body Growcom revealed earlier this week that $38m worth of fruit and vegetables has been lost due to pandemic-induced workforce shortages.
In December, the ABS research showed that one in five employing businesses were having trouble finding suitably skilled staff.
Bosses were most desperate for workers in the health care and social service sector, which recorded 37,700 vacancies followed by administrative and support services (26,800) and retail trade (25,700), according to the ABS.
Industries with the largest percentage jump in job vacancies for the quarter were the same ones that recorded massive falls in May at the peak of COVID-related restrictions: arts and recreation services; accommodation and food services; and retail trade.
Queensland recorded 7000 extra vacancies in the quarter to reach the highest level on record however the rebound was more sluggish than in every jurisdiction other than the Northern Territory.
Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick said the number of jobs available in the state had nearly doubled since the depths of the pandemic in the May quarter.
"We know the recovery from COVID-19 has a long way to go, and as the last week has shown it won't always be smooth sailing," he said.
"There will still be businesses that are doing it tough, but this shows the jobs market is continuing to recover."
NSW recorded 20,000 extra job vacancies while the number of available positions doubled in Tasmania.
The ABS recorded nearly 230,000 vacant jobs in the private sector, a 24 per cent rise from the previous quarter, while public sector vacancies rose 17 per cent to sit at 25,600.
Originally published as 48k jobs up for grabs: Qld's employment boom