Toowoomba Regional Council is identifying future job growth areas and supporting business and industry partners as they look to match jobseekers with employers, while the Region’s unemployment rate hits a near-record low of 3.6% (June 2021).

Toowoomba Region Mayor Paul Antonio said the Region recorded Queensland’s best annual percentage growth in employment of 15.7% in the 12 months to June 2021, according to the latest figures from the Queensland Government Statistician’s Office.

Mayor Antonio said the latest figures represented the addition of 10,200 jobs to the Region’s economy over the year. Queensland recorded a 2.4% growth in annual employment to June 2021.

He said the June 2021 figures also showed the Region’s unemployment rate had fallen to a Queensland low of 3.6%, which was down from 4.3% in May and 4.4% from the April 2021 figure. The latest jobless figure is a decrease of 3.2 percentage points over the year to June 2021. (The current Toowoomba Region jobless rate is the lowest since December 2010.)

“The average Queensland unemployment rate for June 2021 was 6.8%, which was an increase from the May figure of 5.4%,” Mayor Antonio, who also chairs Toowoomba Regional Council’s Economic Development portfolio, said.

“The latest figures are most welcome, but as we near ‘full employment’, there are challenges for employers who are looking for skilled staff across many business and industry sectors.

“Council is undertaking strategic planning on a Regional Growth Plan that will establish a coordinated and sustainable long-term population and employment growth strategy for the Region, as part of our wider Planning Scheme review under the Toowoomba Region Futures banner.

“This will address future workforce needs and plan for servicing new growth areas that will support population increases and new employment opportunities.”

Mayor Antonio said there was continuing good news on the youth unemployment front, with the Region’s June 2021 youth unemployment rate dropping to 7.6%, which represented a decrease of 17.8 percentage points over the year.

“This is the largest percentage point drop in youth unemployment of the 19 Queensland statistical divisions and the second lowest across Queensland. Brisbane Inner City had the lowest youth unemployment rate of 7.3% as at June 2021.

“Our Region’s youth unemployment rate was 9.4% in May 2021, which was down from 9.7% in April this year. The average Queensland youth unemployment rate for June 2021 was 13.6%.

“To encourage more youth engagement, Regional Development Australia Darling Downs and South West, through the Toowoomba Regional Jobs Committee, with the support of the Queensland Government’s Department Employment, Small Business and Training and TRC, has been facilitating youth focus groups.”