Queensland Economy Watch recently posted on the impact of tourism regions on unemployment stats for Queensland. KS was sceptical at the time given the far North is a relatively small proportion of Qld. However Gene Tunny is correct and if anything conservative after some excel spreadsheeting today! The Far North is indeed solely responsible for much of the divergence between Queensland stats and the rest of Oztralia. However!
As KS keeps banging on about there is a divergence twixt male and female unemployment! National male unemployment has moved significantly below female. National male unemployment is at 4.7% and female at 5.4%. This is the opposite of the Far North, and also not evident in much of Queensland where they are close to equal. This indicates not direct tourism so much, but rather construction in coastal areas.
The charts below plot National unemployment, Queensland unemployment, and Queensland ex the Far North. What is evident, even without the Far North, is that Qld has moved from below the National average to above. Effectively, Qld was pulling the National average down pre the GFC and has since moved to dragging it up. The Queensland trend ex- far North still significantly underperforms the rest of Australia over the time of the ABS data series.
Also apparent is that the trend improvement since the GFC peak is pretty much entirely in male employment, with female unemployment basically flat and with no indication of any down trend in Qld. At the peak unemployment in the Far North male unemployment here represented 19% of all unemployed males in Qld.
Also of note is that unemployment in the Far North was above the Qld average pre GFC despite a property boom and has been structurally higher throughout the cycle.