Greetings From Gayleen – August 2023

Greetings from Gayleen

– August 2023

In a huge boost for tourism and the economy Singapore airlines has announced a large increase to its FNQ operations with A350 widebody aircraft to commence flights direct to Singapore/Cairns 4 times a week from March 2024. Not only does this increase seats by 50% but it is great for the export of live seafood and agriculture produce as well as other general cargo.

Unemployment is holding around 4% with skilled workers in high demand. Curiously 87% of entry level advertised jobs require a Cert II or higher with only 13% of job opportunities being for those with low or no post school qualifications. However, experienced workers without qualifications are also highly sought and valued in this market. This is an important message for job seekers and students.

Top employers remain Health Care at almost 20% followed by retail Tourism and Transport. Shortages of qualified professionals including accountants, lawyers, engineers and all trades remain strong.

It is promising that youth unemployment is steadily decreasing across the regions. It was not long ago the levels were staggeringly high.

Interestingly, the cost for jobseekers of being employed versus unemployed continues to be a hindrance to enter the workforce. The loss of benefits including rental assistance, access to health cards, childcare is a key issue in the decision to return to work or stay at home.

The Queensland Commerce Quarterly Pulse Survey results have been released for the June Quarter.

Business operating costs and labour costs in Queensland are at record highs. Businesses are facing the combined impact of high operating costs, high labour and insurance costs, high interest rates and reduced consumer spending which means a less than optimistic economic future. All is not gloom with regional economies holding steady with promising forecasts for capital expenditure, housing and employment opportunities remaining strong.

Congratulations to Charters Towers and Mount Isa who have celebrated very successful rodeos with action-packed programs and many visitors to the towns. I was in Charters Towers and the town was a buzz from the excitement of this great annual event and I plan to get to Mount Isa for next year. I got my new Akubra hat while in the Towers so I’m ready for action, starting with the Savannah in the Round country music festival in Mareeba in October!

Wishing all the dads a very Happy Father’s Day on Sunday.

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