The manufacturing sector is in serious decline in Queensland.
The manufacturing sector is in serious decline in Queensland.

The industry that killed 18,000 jobs and why

MORE than 18,000 manufacturing jobs have been wiped out under the Palaszczuk Government with the sector now employing its lowest number of workers since the 1990s recession.

Analysis of official jobs data has revealed the loss of thousands of manufacturing jobs has been offset by an explosion in publicly-funded positions over the last four years. 

The figures show that despite efforts to diversify the state's economy, the traditional strongholds of mining and agriculture have grown while manufacturing and professional jobs have disappeared.

Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (left) and Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad. Picture: AAP/Darren England
Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk (left) and Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad. Picture: AAP/Darren England

 

 

While the Government credits its training schemes for creating new jobs, more than two-thirds of the 173,400 positions created over the four years to February were in health and education.

Most of these would have come courtesy of the Palaszczuk Government's public service hiring-spree and the Federally-funded National Disability Insurance Scheme.

Meanwhile, Queensland's manufacturing workforce of the 150,000 is now the smallest it has been since Paul Keating declared Australia was experiencing the recession it "had to have".

Professional, scientific and technical jobs shrunk by 9000 positions while Queensland's arts, recreation and real estate workforce experience steep declines.

Economist Gene Tunny.
Economist Gene Tunny.

Economist Gene Tunny warned the figures exposed the sluggish nature of Queensland's domestic economy and the risk of undermining the state's key job-generating sectors of mining and agriculture.

"Our comparative advantage is being able to dig stuff out of the ground and grow stuff out of the ground," he said. "We would be silly not to act on that."

 

Generic photo of Macarthur Coal's Coppabella Mine southwest of Mackay. Source: Macarthur Coal Ltd. via Bloomberg News EDITOR'S NOTE: EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO SALES. NO ARCHIVING.
Generic photo of Macarthur Coal's Coppabella Mine southwest of Mackay. Source: Macarthur Coal Ltd. via Bloomberg News EDITOR'S NOTE: EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NO SALES. NO ARCHIVING. Supplied

Mr Tunny said the Palaszczuk Government was going the wrong way about creating the private sector jobs needed to pay for an ageing population.

"They are doing things through payroll like discounts for movie studios and breweries," he said.

"Yet the way to do it is through the education system.

"We need to encourage young people to be innovative because they are the ones that are going to create the new industries."

Construction jobs have flourished by 31,000. However, there are fears for the sector with house prices declining.

New Labour Force statistics released on Thursday showed 4900 new positions were created in March.

Treasurer Jackie Trad insisted the Government was "100 per cent focused on growing jobs and new industries".



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