Queensland continues to outperform the nation
Queensland’s economy and labour market have continued to outperform the rest of the nation during the recovery from COVID-19.
The state has faced a range of economic challenges in early 2022, including the Omicron COVID-19 outbreak, devastating floods and the global impacts of the conflict in Ukraine, all of which have weakened the supply side of the economy.
Despite these shocks, Queensland’s domestic economy continued to grow in March quarter 2022, and is now 7.8 per cent larger than its pre-COVID level, outperforming the national average and major southern states.
Economic recovery drives strong jobs growth
Economic activity in Queensland has been supported in part by the elevated level of net interstate migration during the pandemic. More than 54,500 people moved to Queensland from other states, in net terms, between June quarter 2020 and September quarter 2021.
Robust population growth and Queensland’s ongoing economic recovery have supported strong jobs growth across the state. Since the COVID pandemic began, Queensland has enjoyed the largest increase in employment of any state or territory. Employment in Queensland has increased by 206,000 persons since March 2020, including 77,700 persons in the first 5 months of 2022.
Underpinned by this strong jobs growth, Queensland’s unemployment rate has fallen from
a pre-COVID rate of 5.8 per cent to 4.0 per cent in May 2022, despite the state’s participation rate increasing from 65.5 per cent to 67.2 per cent over the same period.
Economy and labour market to remain strong
Queensland’s economy grew by 2 per cent in 2020–21, faster than the national average. Growth is expected to strengthen to 3 per cent in 2021–22, and then average 2¾ per cent per annum over the remainder of the forward estimates, driven mainly by growth in the domestic economy.
Consistent with this robust growth, employment is forecast to grow by 43/4 per cent in 2021–22, the fastest jobs growth in 15 years.
The state’s unemployment rate is forecast to remain low across the 4 years to 2025–26, between 4 and 4¼ per cent, as sustained employment growth and a pick-up in wages growth keep the participation rate elevated.