29 October 2020

ACT jumps to second-best performing economy, leads nation in relative unemployment

| Dominic Giannini
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The ACT is Australia’s second-best performing economy. Photo: File.

The ACT has Australia’s second-best performing economy according to CommSec’s State of the State report, the Territory’s highest ranking in three years and the nation’s best figures for relative unemployment.

The ACT has the strongest job market, being the only jurisdiction to record a fall in its unemployment compared to the decade-average. The unemployment rate for the June quarter was down 4.2 per cent from the decade-average.

In September, the ACT’s unemployment rate fell to 3.7 per cent from 4.1 per cent, significantly lower than the national rate which increased to 6.9 per cent. The participation rate remained at 72.5 per cent in the ACT compared to the national average of 64.8 per cent.

READ MORE Data shows ACT economy is holding up better than other states

The Territory’s strong performance was mainly due to a strong jobs market, a result of stable public sector employment and few cases of COVID-19, CommSec Chief Economist Craig James said.

“In the overall rankings, the big improvers over the past quarter were the ACT, South Australia and Western Australia,” Mr James said.

Canberra wages in the same quarter were up 2 per cent while the Consumer Price Index, or inflation, decreased by 0.6 per cent, meaning Canberrans are seeing an increase in purchasing power as overall prices decrease.

READ ALSO ACT Government boosts jobs target to 250,000 in economic recovery plan

House prices in Canberra went up 2 per cent in September and 6.3 per cent annually. The Territory’s economic activity in the June quarter was 20 per cent above its decade-average.

Tasmania remains Australia’s best-performing economy, leading the nation in relative population growth, equipment investment, housing finance and retail trade.

Victoria was ranked third behind the ACT, followed by NSW and South Australia equal fourth, Queensland and Western Australia equal sixth and the Northern Territory at eighth.

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HiddenDragon7:13 pm 29 Oct 20

The rankings and ratings are pretty much what you would expect from a business which makes much of its profits from housing and consumer finance, but it doesn’t seem to say much about economic diversity – when the stimulus money eventually dries up, that is going to be a much more important factor in assessing the real strength of economies.

If the Canberra economy is so good then why is the CT reporting that Canberra is the worst business environment in Australia? Because it is, I would not own a business here given I have to hide in a back street of Mitchell or Fyshwick, pay exorbitant rental costs, have snobby customers, and have to charge more for services. If Canberra keeps going the way it is the public servants will eventually end up having to leave their clique to access basic services in NSW because of the ACT governments disregard of the need for small business to exist. I will stick to a real Australian town , thanx

Capital Retro12:13 pm 29 Oct 20

The ACT is the only state/territory in Australia that doesn’t have a mining industry yet there are plenty of mineral extraction prospects here. What a boost the resultant royalties would be to our phony economy.

Start next to your house then CR?

Capital Retro6:15 pm 29 Oct 20

There is no mineralisation around my house JS9 so that isn’t about to happen. I am aware that there is a possibility of a large open cut silver mine being developed on the eastern edge of Queanbeyan though. Unfortunately, that’s in NSW.

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