New data shows job advertisements on the Sunshine Coast over the three months to April 2020 fell by 31.8 per cent compared to the same period last year.
New data shows job advertisements on the Sunshine Coast over the three months to April 2020 fell by 31.8 per cent compared to the same period last year.

‘Disturbing’ new data on Sunshine Coast jobs

DISTURBING new employment data for the Sunshine Coast has raised alarm for the need for swift recovery from the fallout of COVID-19.

Job vacancy data shows job advertisements on the Sunshine Coast fell by 31.8 per cent - or 480 ads - when comparing the April 2020 quarter with the same period last year.

It was the largest percentile decline of any Queensland region.

"It is disturbing but not surprising," University of the Sunshine Coast's Gabrielle Parle said.

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"The structure of the Sunshine Coast economy makes it vulnerable to economic downturns because our key industries, such as construction, retail trade and accommodation and food services, are reliant on discretionary demand."

The Australian Government data showed nationwide job advertisements over the quarter fell by 32.7 per cent - surpassing the year-on-year decline experienced during the global financial crisis.

Ms Parle, an accounting and finance associate lecturer, said it was important to note that while job advertisements were a good indicator of the labour market, some job vacancies are never advertised.

Ms Parle said she was confident the region would recover from the economic fallout.

She said one positive to come of the global pandemic was the move to working from home, which could work in the region's favour.

"On the positive side, preliminary investigations are suggesting that a permanent increase in working remotely has been a consequence of the Covid lockdown," she said.

"If this proves to be true, then regions such as ours may see an influx of new residents and an economic stimulus to accompany it.

"One of the benefits of being a small, regional economy is its sensitivity to external factors.

"But just as the vulnerabilities of local industries has spelled financial pain in the current global recession, when the economy turns the corner, which it will inevitably do, the Sunshine Coast's recovery may be swifter."


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