Hospitality venues are finding it easier to find to fill positions throughout their businesses as unemployment continues to creep toward the high single digit range.
During March 2009 one Brisbane pub reported receiving more than 1,000 applications for two bar attendant positions. A national pizza retail chain reported receiving more than 3,000 applications for positions they had advertised 10 days earlier.
The unemployment rate is typically one of the best measures for economic health of a particular area.The graph below indicates unemployment rates tracked through over the last five years for several key Queensland population centres. The data in the graph is based on unemployment data to December 2008.
DWS notes the following trends and characteristics:
- Many Queensland cities and towns continued to experience record unemployment during the December 2008 quarter with Toowoomba, Townsville and Mackay actually seeing the local unemployment rate decline slightly.
- Cities and towns heavily reliant on tourism have generally experienced higher rates of unemployment then areas less reliant on tourism.
- Logan, Bundaberg and Cairns are experiencing the highest unemployment rates with all three seeing unemployment pushing 6% with a trend that looks set to continue.
- It is expected that unemployment will continue to rise throughout 2009 and possibly into 2010, it is unlikely that unemployment will see any drop before a sustained recovery is underway.
When using the
unemployment rate as an economic indicator, it is important to remember
that like all economic indicators it is an imperfect measure. The
following characteristics illustrate this:
- It tends to lag slightly behind what is actually happening in the economy. This is because employers will generally attempt to cut non-wage costs before wages. This works in reverse when the economy is improving. Employers tend to wait until they are confident in a sustained increase in demand for their product or services before hiring new staff.
- Unemployment can be heavily influenced by government intervention and regulation. A change in government regulation can mean a possible increase or decrease in the unemployment rate despite no fundamental change in the health of the economy.
- Unemployment as calculated by the Australian Bureau of Statistics can sometimes be a deceptive measure due to its very nature. The unemployment rate only measures the number of people looking for jobs when compared to the total workforce. However individuals who are underemployed and who have lost their jobs but are not looking for work are not always included in the reported unemployment rate.