ABS figures show encouraging labour force trends for Toowoomba Region

New data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has revealed the Toowoomba Region is one of the best performing regions in Queensland in terms of unemployment levels. This comes after the April labour force figures indicated 12.2% in the Toowoomba Region.

Mayor Paul Antonio said he was shocked to read unemployment had risen to 12.2% for April, and heartened to see May’s figure of 6.2% is so much lower.

“The figure is much closer to what we are hearing from local industry,” Mayor Antonio said.

“We will not celebrate until the more reliable quarterly local government unemployment figures are released in July.

“Announcements like this create confidence in the labour market for Toowoomba Region residents.

“The latest figures came on the same day the State Government announced tenders for a multimillion-dollar Agtech and logistics hub in Toowoomba.

“While tourism plays a big part in our economy, industries such as health, education and agriculture ensure that we are in a position to handle unforeseen events.

“Our unemployment rate continues to sit below both the state (7.9%) and national (7.1%) averages which is heartening after recent data from the ABS indicated the rate was considerably higher.

“Fortunately, youth unemployment figures have followed the same trend with April levels of 21%, falling to 13.9% in May.

“These figures are still high in several regional areas throughout Queensland and Australia and need to be addressed by all levels of government as a matter of urgency.

“There’s no doubt COVID-19 has impacted the Toowoomba Region, as it has in all parts of the world. However, it is comforting to see that we are one of the strongest performing regions in Queensland.

“Council has been proactive in providing economic relief measures to assist our community through this challenging period.

“The measures Council has provided in response will help in our Region’s recovery and are complementary to support given by other levels of government.

“As Mayor of this wonderful Region, I believe it’s important for our Council to work with the State and Federal Governments to see us through this challenging time.”

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