Skyrocketing housing approvals has contributed to a growth in the Whitsunday workforce.
Skyrocketing housing approvals has contributed to a growth in the Whitsunday workforce. DAN PELED

Whitsunday workforce grows thanks to labour sector

CHEAP overseas holidays may have had an impact on tourism but it hasn't affected employment in the Whitsunday region.

The Whitsunday workforce has increased by 1.5%, despite a 2.5% decline in the number of businesses in the region, according to a REDC economic profile report released last night.

REDC deputy chief executive officer Amanda Camm said the increase in the workforce was in the labour sector.

"That's almost doubled," she said. "That could be attributed to the increase of dwelling approvals in that sector."

According to the report, the number of residential dwellings approved skyrocketed by 881% between 2011 and 2012.

"We've seen a substantial amount of investments there," Ms Camm said.

A decline in the number of businesses could be attributed to a downturn in tourism and bad weather events.

"We've seen a number of operators and businesses in retail that have suffered in that decline in tourism, which could be based on our high Australian dollar," Ms Camm said.

Despite this, the Whitsunday region seems to have it all, she said.

"What sets the Whitsundays apart from everyone else is it does offer everything from tourism, agriculture, mining and construction. It really is a local government area that represents all of the State Government's four pillars," Ms Camm said.

The largest employer in the Whitsunday region continued to be the accommodation and food services industry, employing nearly 15% of the region's workforce, the report said.

This industry contributed $112.5 million to the region.

The report states that the Whitsundays relies heavily on the mining industry, which contributes 25% of the region's economy.

Last financial year, it poured $565.3 million into the economy.

WHITSUNDAY

  •  The region's economy was worth $2.3 billion last financial year
  •  Information, media and telecommunications contributes 53% to the local economy
  •  Population was 32,408 in 2011
  •  Population expected to reach 55,451 by 2031
  •  $30 billion worth of development either planned or underway in the region.


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