The Wide Bay has experienced its largest number of recorded jobs since July 2012 – with 120,900 total jobs now recorded in the region.
The latest figures come from the Australian Bureau of Statistics recently released Australian Monthly Labour Force survey (table 16).
It's great news for the economy, according to Bundaberg Regional Council's Economic Development Officer Ben Artup, who said job figures had not been this high for almost a decade.
“It's an incredible figure considering the state of the rest of Australia at the moment,” he said.
“Since COVID-19 hit in April 2020, the number of jobs bounced back from a historic low of 99,900 jobs to the 120,900 reported recently – representing a massive jump of 21% in seven months.
“Incredibly, there are now more local jobs here than before COVID-19 started.”
Ben said there were a number of reasons behind the huge jump in job numbers.
“One reason we have performed so well is the diversity of our economy,” he said.
“We are not reliant on one industry which ensures stability, and the confidence to employ.”
Job positivity across many Wide Bay industries
Bundaberg Chamber of Commerce President Yale Morgan said there were many industries benifiting from the jobs boom, including retail, construction and tourism.
“Retail is going reasonably strong and we are seeing a resurgence in the tourism and hospitality sector,” he said.
“We're also seeing an increase in construction, both commercial and certainly residential.
“There is certainly a lot of activity going on in our region which is very exciting.”
Andrew Murchie of Murchie Constructions said business was booming.
“In the Bundaberg Region, post COVID, the construction industry has been performing quite well, particularly the domestic market,” he said.
“The housing market has benefited significantly from the stimulus that the government has implemented.
“Commercially, we've seen the work has remained steady.”
Ben said the ABS figures also showed the region’s labour force participation rate had improved to a comparatively good 52.2%, from 49.5% a year prior.
“This means the improved unemployment rate, which fell from 9.6% in December 2019 to 7.4% in December 2020, isn’t because people are leaving the labour market discouraged.
“Rather they are returning to the labour market because they're confident they will find one of the now 120,900 jobs across the region.”
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