by John McCarthy
REGIONAL Queensland is generating jobs and is even leaving Brisbane in its wake after years of stagnation following the mining downturn.
According to analysis by Conus Consultancy of Australian Bureau of Statistics figures for March, trend employment for areas outside the southeast was up 3800 while greater Brisbane generated only 700.
"Even more significant, the Rest of Queensland increase included 3000 fulltime positions, while greater Brisbane added just 100,'' Conus economist Pete Faulkner said.
On the raw data from the ABS, even the troubled city of Townsville is starting to show signs of recovery with its March unemployment falling to 9.4 per cent from 10.6 per cent the previous month.
"Over the course of the past six months greater Brisbane has shed 10,300 fulltime positions while the Rest of Queensland has added 9300 and almost all of these are coming from the bush,'' Mr Faulkner said.
"Regions that have contributed to this growth are Townsville which added 8100; Wide Bay (+4100), Mackay (+3000), Cairns (+2400) and Toowoomba (+1400). There can now be little doubt things have turned a corner in Townsville. Trend employment was up 2200 in March. This is the eighth consecutive month of trend increases."
"The trend unemployment rate has fallen sharply to 9.3 per cent, although it remains the second highest in the state after Outback at 12.8 per cent."
The better outlook came as ratings agency Moody's gave Queensland a tick by returning its credit rating to stable from negative.
"The decision by Moody's to affirm our Aa1 rating, equivalent to AA+, and change their outlook on the state to stable from negative is recognition of the strong financial management delivered under our economic plan," Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.