Strong Population and Jobs Growth underpin Need For More Prompt Infrastructure Rollout

Latest ABS data indicate that the national headcount continues to increase strongly while the economy’s rate of job creation remains very healthy.

“Over the year to March 2019, the number of people calling Australia home rose by about 390,000 meaning that the population growth rate remains at a solid 1.6%,” Master Builders Chief Economist Shane Garrett said.

“While the headline GDP figures show that economic growth is currently below par, employment data out today show that we still generated over 310,000 new jobs over the past 12 months – the majority of which were full-time positions,” he said.

“Combined with news that the federal finances are in their best shape since 2007/08, there are justifiable grounds for believing that better days lie ahead for our economy,” Shane Garrett said.

“Government can still do more to speed up our return to economic health. Newly-announced infrastructure projects need to move into action with a much greater sense of urgency,” he said.

“Our stock of infrastructure must match the large expansions in the labour force and population. As Infrastructure Australia pointed out recently, congestion will only worsen further should we fail to deliver on this,” Shane Garrett said.

“Construction work is unique is being able to provide visible and tangible evidence that our economy is on the move. No other industry has the ability to build confidence in the same way,” Shane Garrett said.

Over the year to March 2019, Victoria’s population continued to record the strongest pace of growth (+2.1%). Population growth was also brisk in Queensland (+1.8%), the ACT (+1.7%) and New South Wales (+1.4). Population increases also occurred in Tasmania (+1.2%), Western Australia (+1.0%) and South Australia (+0.9%). The Northern Territory’s population dipped by 0.4% over the year to March.

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