Unemployment is at an all time high in Queensland.
Unemployment is at an all time high in Queensland.

‘Turning a corner:’ Employment agencies hope for improvement

ROMA employers hit by the economic fallout of lockdown are feeling a bit more confident as restrictions ease.

BEST Employment marketing manager Kate Ottewell said the region had been going through tough times as unemployment rose but was turning a corner.

“These are challenging times we are in as Australia’s unemployment rate hits the highest it has been in five years, at above 6 per cent,” she said.

“At BEST, we are starting to see some confidence return to the workforce as restrictions begin to ease, which will help get more people back into work.”

The latest Suncorp-CCIQ Pulse Survey shows how drastically business conditions and economic confidence fell in Queensland during the March quarter when lockdowns were enforced.

General business conditions fell by 11.4 points to 27.6, which is 17.9 points lower than the 10-year average of 45.5.

The Pulse Survey ‘economic outlook’ indicator fell by 25.1points to 13.3, which is 32.7 points lower than the 10-year average of 45.9.

LNP Deputy Leader and Shadow Treasurer Tim Mander said the business conditions indicator was already at a record low before in the quarter before the pandemic.

“The latest Pulse numbers are sobering, but Queensland’s economy was struggling long before coronavirus,” he said.

Mr Mander accused the Palaszczuk government of not providing economic leadership.

“Businesses need a plan and a pathway to economic recovery,” Mr Mander said.

“Incredibly, this is the only government in Australia that has cancelled its 2020 Budget.

“The Palaszczuk Labor Government has no plan, no Budget and no integrity.”

Queensland Treasurer Cameron Dick said the government would publish a COVID-19 Fiscal and Economic Review (C19-FER) in September.

“Now we have a roadmap to reopen the economy, we can restart the process of assessing the economy and the state’s finances, as we plot the path to recovery and resurgence,” he said.

“The COVID-19 Fiscal and Economic Review (C19-FER) will be produced by the Queensland Treasury to the same standards used for the annual Mid-Year Fiscal and Economic Review (MYFER).

Mr Dick said he expected the C19-FER would show a significant impact due to COVID-19.

“In MYFER in December 2019, our budget was in surplus,” he said.

“Since that time, we’ve had to invest heavily to save jobs, and we also expect revenues were hit.”

Articles contributed today by Kat Donaghey were supported by the Judith Neilson Institute for Journalism and Ideas.