As Canberra’s economy continues to grow, more and more people are choosing to work in our city and are finding full-time employment when they get here.
More than 10,000 jobs were created in Canberra during 2017 and the vast majority (80 per cent) were full-time positions.
These jobs have been created in a wide range of industries in both the private and public sector, including education and training, retail trade, IT and media, healthcare and the energy sector. The healthcare sector is expected to grow significantly this year too, with the opening of the rehabilitation hospital at the University of Canberra.
Last year’s growth was a 4.6 per cent increase in employment in our city, smashing the 10-year average growth rate of 1.4 per cent.
Jobs in small businesses are also booming, with the ACT’s small businesses recording the highest percentage growth in jobs in Australia.
The stats also show that people are attracted to move to Canberra because of our jobs market. We have over 409,000 Canberrans now, and we are planning for 500,000 by 2030.
These people are coming to Canberra to enjoy low unemployment – now at the lowest rate in the country at 3.7 per cent. This is far lower than the national average of 5.5 per cent.
This increase in employment is no surprise. The ACT Government has made significant investments in recent years to diversify our economy and protect local jobs from continual cuts from the Federal Liberal Government.
We have supported our tertiary education institutions to expand into international markets, pushed for international flights to support growth in our tourism industry and invested in major infrastructure projects to increase jobs in the construction industry.
More recently, we have played to our strengths and encouraged growth in innovation and professional services, including defence capabilities, space and aeronautical industries and education.
Our efforts to increase the territory’s exposure internationally are also paying dividends. On a recent trade mission to Hong Kong, I met with representatives from Ovolo Hotels, a boutique hotel chain recently announced their first Canberra venture by taking over the Hotel Hotel lease in NewActon.
We know that this year will bring more good job news. With construction on light rail and urban renewal continuing, and growth in our tourism sector from being recognised as the third best city in the world to visit by Lonely Planet, unemployment is likely to remain low.
We’ve been planning for a bigger city with more people and more jobs for a few years, now it’s becoming reality.