CQUniversity Resource Economist, Professor John Rolfe. Picture: Peter Lawrence
CQUniversity Resource Economist, Professor John Rolfe. Picture: Peter Lawrence

CQ JOBS: Growth projected in health, mining and education

HEALTHCARE, mining and education are predicted to be the biggest growth industries in Central Queensland, according to data from the Department of Employment.

Projections say health will be the biggest mover with an improvement in employment numbers of 14 per cent, followed by mining (13.6 per cent), and education (9.7 per cent). The projections compare May 2019 numbers with May 2024 projections, and the department produces the five-year comparison annually using data from the ABS Labour Force Survey.

CQUniversity resource economist Professor John Rolfe said the situation in Gladstone appeared to be in "a stable holding pattern".

"There is a bit of growth coming from construction, but there are no huge projects on the horizon in the near future," he said.

Regarding the Central Queensland projections, Prof Rolfe said that trends in health and education were generally reasonably accurate.

"They are essentially underpinned by public spending," he said.

Predictions do get more complicated in regional areas as growth figures depend on how governments address things like access to health services.

"At the moment they fly a lot of people from Gladstone and Rockhampton to Brisbane," he said.

But when it comes to mining, things get much more tricky.

Prof Rolfe cited global issues such as Brexit, relations between the US and China, and Australia's trading partners' appetite for resources as some of the moving parts that impact the industry.

"There are a lot of big issues to play out in the world economy," he said.

While mining isn't going away, he didn't expect conditions to return to the boom of a decade ago.

"We will never see the mining boom we saw from 2008 to 2014," he said.

In the long term, he ­expected demand for jobs that require person-to-person ­interaction to continue to grow.

Across all industries, Central Queensland employment numbers are predicted to improve from 112,500 to 119,100 by 2024, an increase of 5.8 per cent.

This is less of an improvement compared with the outlook for regional Queensland, with employment growth across the state (excluding Brisbane) predicted to be 8.8 per cent.