Having an economy that is not reliant on the mining industry and has seen diversification into more service related industries has ensured that the Gold Coast unemployment rate has stayed below national and state rates. Most recent figures from Gold Coast City show unemployment of 5.69% for the Gold Coast compared to 5.94% across the state.
Despite predictions of higher unemployment, rates stayed steady at 5.8% nationally in April, with job losses felt in the mining industry made up for by job creation in the service industry as companies in that sector seem more confident and are investing in taking on new staff.
The Gold Coast has always followed a slightly different economic cycle than the rest of the nation and whilst it may be gloomy elsewhere, things are looking positive here. Building approvals are up (almost 200% up for commercial building approvals), commercial rental space is at its lowest for years and job advert numbers have gone up for 9 months on a row.
Interestingly, as the number of job adverts are going up so are the number of people applying for those jobs. This signifies not only that there are more jobs out there, but candidates who have kept their head down in the tougher job market of the last few years are now more confident about moving jobs. Although this may not be music to employers ears as they obviously don’t want to lose staff, it does provide opportunities to both candidates and companies alike.
The increase in job adverts has not just come from established companies replacing existing staff, there has been a significant increase in the number of new growing companies recruiting due to expansion. This is a reflection of the entrepreneurial nature of the Gold Coast, particularly at the moment where companies in industries as diverse as property development, travel and tourism, childcare and IT&T are forecasting healthy growth. Lessons learned during the GFC are giving today’s business leaders the commercial edge which points to the Gold Coast market reaching a level of maturity it has never had before.