Major construction projects, including the Sunshine Coast University Hospital precinct, have helped Queensland from falling lower in the rankings
Major construction projects, including the Sunshine Coast University Hospital precinct, have helped Queensland from falling lower in the rankings Mark Furler

LNP under attack as jobless rate 29% above 'normal'

IT IS the report the LNP Government could have done without.

In the midst of a tight and ferocious election campaign, Queensland's economy has been ranked fifth in the country behind the Northern Territory, New South Wales, Western Australia and Victoria.

The state's poor performance on key fronts like population growth, home building and unemployment pushed it even further down the ladder. Queensland's jobless rate of 6.6% is up an incredible 29.4% on the "normal levels" of the past decade according to the State of the States report from CommSec released on Monday morning.

Population growth in Queensland is down 29.4% compared to decade-long averages, increasing by just 1.52% in the past three months.

Overally construction levels and equipment investment saved Queensland from falling even lower in the rankings.

Watch the CommSec report below, with Queensland discussed from 1.43.

According to the report: "In Queensland, overall construction work and equipment spending are supporting economic activity.

"But the soft job market and relative under-performance on population growth are constraining growth in home building."

The Labor Opposition has used the report to begin hammering the government's record on job creation, a sore spot for the LNP which promised to cut unemployment ahead of Premier Campbell Newman's election in 2012.

Shadow Treasurer Curtis Pitt said the report showed how Queensland had fallen from being ranked as Australia's second strongest state when the LNP took power.

"The report states that Queensland's 6.6% unemployment rate is 29.4% above the normal level with unemployment stuck at an 11-year high," Mr Pitt said.

"At the election, Queensland's unemployment rate was 5.5%."

Mr Pitt said struggling retailers and builders -- combined with the LNP's decision to cut thousands of public service workers" was contributing to Queensland's economic struggles.

Treasurer Tim Nicholls' said Queensland was suffering hits delivered by the falling price of coal and gas, and economic uncertainty around the world.

He pointed to the strength of equipment investment and construction work in the report as signs the state was still doing well, and would soon do even better.

"Current projections show that Queensland is on track to be the fastest growing state in Australia," he said.

ABS figures, he said, also suggested that Queensland had recorded the biggest drop in unemployment of any state.

That is despite the rates still being at historic highs for the state.
 



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