Location, location, location – SA’s surging economic rebound hits historic high

South Australia’s growing global appeal as an attractive place to live, work and raise a family has led to a further acceleration in our COVID economic rebound.

The latest independent ANZ Stateometer index of SA’s economic activity is at its ‘highest level on record’.

With momentum growing across the country in the first three months of the year (Q1), SA is ‘above trend and accelerating’, recording historic high housing activity, positive net interstate migration and an improving consumer sector.

It highlights Housing Industry Association of Australia data which shows the volume of real estate transactions in SA was almost double (up 90.6 per cent) year on year in the Quarter – the highest of the mainland states.

Under the heading ‘Location, location, location’, ANZ says of SA:

“The index is at its highest level on record, far surpassing the previous high in 2008. The housing component is at historic highs. Living in South Australia may have become more appealing, because of how well it managed the pandemic, apart from the November blip. As such, South Australia’s Stateometer housing component is the second strongest across the states, after Western Australia.”

It comes as ABS Labour Force stats, released yesterday, showed record total employment in SA with 864,200 South Australians now employed. In the last 12 months alone, we’ve added 43,000 new jobs.

Unemployment has dropped to 5.7 per cent which is near the 5.5 per cent national rate and, pleasingly, means we no longer have the highest unemployment rate in the nation.

Treasurer Rob Lucas welcomed the results as further evidence of the state’s strong ongoing economic and jobs recovery from COVID, noting there is still more work to be done.

“While Labour Force figures tend to bump around, they are backed by the most recent ABS Single Touch Payroll figures for the fortnight ending April 24, showing a 13.4 per cent increase in jobs in SA since the depths of the COVID-pandemic in mid-April last year – the second highest of all states and just behind WA on 13.5 per cent,” said Mr Lucas.

“Total employee wages grew 10.9 per cent in the corresponding period, above the national average 9.7 per cent and behind only WA and Victoria.

“The Marshall Government is investing $4 billion in economic stimulus over two years to turbo charge the state’s COVID rebound, and independent reports like this show our positive plan is working.”

BankSA’s Chief Economist Besa Deda, in its latest Focus magazine, said the state’s economic recovery had been better than most, particularly in housing and construction.

“The lift in (building) approvals will help generate a strong pipeline of residential construction activity and flow on to jobs which should sustain, if not lift, the level of employment in the state. Recently Adelaide was named Australia’s most liveable city. It is affordable, it has good infrastructure, it’s easy to get around, consumer confidence is elevated, and businesses are more optimistic.”

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