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(Australian Associated Press)
The worst unemployment rates in the nation in the month before the federal election were largely in areas of Queensland and WA.
CommSec’s analysis of ABS Labour Force data showed more than a quarter of 87 regions across the nation had an unemployment rate of 6.0 per cent or above during April – well above the 5.2 per cent national figure – while two thirds of regions had a jobs rate below their 10 -year average.
CommSec analysts on Tuesday said a widely tipped June cut to the cash rate would not be enough to improve the situation on its own, and urged governments to focus on infrastructure spending and population policies to boost jobs.
“Rate cuts can only do so much in stimulating the economy and getting the jobless rate down,” CommSec’s chief economists said in a note.
Unemployment rates across most of Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra came in well under the national figure, but outback Queensland recorded a national high of 14 per cent.
The Sunshine State was also represented in the top six by Townsville, Moreton Bay North, Wide Bay, and Logan-Beaudesert.
Darling Downs, Outback QLD and Moreton Bay were also among the worst performing jobs markets over the past 12 months.
Queensland’s economic landscape has been the subject of much backwards-looking analysis as pundits search for reasons why voters turned away from Labor in favour of Scott Morrison’s Coalition at this month’s election.
Labor MPs have since stressed their party needs to focus on jobs, after its election hopes fell short in Queensland with huge swings against it.
Grafton-Coffs Harbour in northern NSW had the third highest unemployment rate in April at 8.2 per cent, while North Adelaide had 7.4 per cent.
Outback WA and three regions of Perth registered between 6.7 and 7.1 per cent.
North East and South East Perth and the WA Outback were also in the worst five performing jobs markets over the past 12 months.
CommSec said it was in the regions that the nation had to boost its jobs performance.
“The Reserve Bank governor said (in May) that we can do better on unemployment and shouldn’t be satisfied with a jobless rate near 5.0 per cent,” CommSec said in a release.
“When he made that statement he wasn’t really thinking about Sydney and Melbourne.”
HIGHEST REGIONAL JOBLESS RATES IN APRIL (per cent)
1. QLD – Outback Queensland – 14.0
2. QLD – Moreton Bay North – 9.4
3. NSW – Coffs Harbour-Grafton – 8.2
4. QLD – Logan-Beaudesert – 7.9
5. QLD – Townsville – 7.8
=6. QLD – Wide Bay – 7.4
=6 . SA – Adelaide North – 7.4
=8. WA – WA Outback – 7.1
=8. WA – Perth South East – 7.1
10. WA – Perth North East – 7.0
LOWEST REGIONAL JOBLESS RATE IN APRIL (per cent)
1. NSW – Sydney Sutherland – 1.9
2. NSW – Sydney Northern beaches – 2.5
=3. NSW – Sydney Inner West – 2.8
=3. NSW – Far West and Orana – 2.8
5. NSW – Sydney City and Inner South – 2.9
6. NSW – Sydney Baulkham Hills and Hawkesbury 3.0
=7. NSW – North Sydney and Hornsby – 3.4
=7. VIC – Melbourne Inner South – 3.4
9. VIC – Melbourne South West and Warnambool – 3.5
10. VIC – Hume – 3.5
* CommSec analysis of ABS Labour Force data for April 2019