- Friday 08 January 2016
The Sunshine Coast’s youth unemployment rate has dropped below 10% to become one of the lowest rates in Queensland.
The latest Australian Bureau of Statistics data shows youth unemployment on the Coast in November was at 9.8%, a major drop from 14.2% in November 2014 and 10.5% in October 2015.
Only four other statistical areas in Queensland, which is split up into 19 regions, are below 10% with the Queensland-wide youth unemployment rate sitting at 13.3%, down from 14.1% a year ago.
The Sunshine Coast has the lowest rate of any coastal region and experienced the third largest decline (-4.4%) in the state across the 12 months.
There has been a reduction in the youth unemployment rate in every month since June 2015.
Mayor Mark Jamieson welcomed the latest figures, saying they would give confidence and encouragement to Coast mums and dads that their children were in one of the best parts of the state to get a job.
“One of the greatest gifts any level of government can give its community is confidence,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“With confidence comes opportunity and with opportunity comes prosperity.
“Our population of young Coast residents is not in decline, it’s growing, and it’s part of our responsibility to help them gain employment here.
“It’s one of the reasons why council has been so pro-active with its Regional Economic Development Strategy, targeting seven high-value industries.
“In the end jobs are created by business and we are creating the environment for business to succeed and grow and help create jobs for all sections of our community.
“It’s important to note that the 9.8% youth unemployment figure is for the entire Sunshine Coast region and we believe it is even less for our council area – confidence which is well placed when you hear admissions from Noosa representatives that they have a major youth unemployment issue.
“We will continue to work hard with our strategies to reduce our unemployment rates even further, keep young Sunshine Coasters in work and in good jobs here where they want to live.”
HRM Contracting and Consulting General Manager Sally Desch said the continued upward trend in business confidence on the Sunshine Coast had helped employment rates rise.
“Traditionally this time of year is very busy with school leavers looking for work whether it is ongoing or casual work. We have not seen the high number that we have seen in past years because employers are recruiting youths – they are optimistic about the future and willing to invest in youth,” she said.
“Youth unemployment is decreasing due to the rising business confidence in the region. Employers are looking towards the future and looking at succession planning – they are planning for the future and wanting to train/mentor youth in their businesses.”
Business Manager for CARDNO Sunshine Coast Brook Kitson said high-level career opportunities were also on the rise.
“Through some great wins we have been able to place four new local employees in recent months,” he said.
“We are proud to say that one of our recruits was a civil engineering graduate from the University of Sunshine Coast. It was great to see the high level of graduates available from the engineering course and it was very hard to choose from the 10 candidates that applied.”
Mayor Jamieson said further opportunities would be created by the start of work at SunCentral in the Maroochydore CBD and the proposed Sunshine Coast Airport expansion.
“With the opening of the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital now less than a year away we can look forward to the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Service employing 2500 new staff across all age groups, growing to a total of 5,000 new staff by 2021,” he said.
“There will also be many extra jobs created by Youi’s decision to base their global headquarters on the Coast, as well Auto and General and Country Chef’s recent expansion announcements.
“We also have visionary projects such as the Sunshine Coast Solar Farm, the Light Rail system and international submarine cable that show we are a region thinking about its future.”
SUNSHINE COAST REGIONAL YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT
November 2015: 9.8%
November 2014: 14.4%
QUEENSLAND TOP FIVE – NOVEMBER 2015
Darling Downs-Maranoa 8%
Brisbane West 9%
Brisbane North 9.2%
Sunshine Coast 9.8%
(Source: Qld Government Youth Statistician’s Office – regional youth unemployment, November 2015)