The Sunshine Coast is leading the way in job creation in Queensland.
In 2013, of the 54,000 jobs created across the state, 10,000 – or 20% of them – were created on the Sunshine Coast, according to property guru Michael Matusik.
Mr Matusik said the employment growth came largely through construction and health/medical related areas, with a lesser impact from the retail and tourism sectors.
Sunshine Coast Mayor Mark Jamieson welcomed the news, adding that growth in the professional services, education and aged care sectors was also evident.
“A number of new aged care facilities have recently opened, while the new Stellar Group headquarters in Maroochydore employed nearly 300 professional positions alone,” he said.
“Given the Sunshine Coast makes up approximately 7% of the state’s population, it is a fantastic result that we are creating 20% of the state’s jobs growth,” he said.
“In the Economic Development Strategy we aim to create 100,000 jobs here on the Coast in the next 20 years – and this shows we are well on the way.”
The Mayor said while much of the new employment was coming from one of the Coast’s more traditional sectors of construction, much of the activity was at the Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital site, which will be the future hub for a vibrant health and medical sector as spelled out in the Strategy.
“Council has also contributed operational funding to the Workshop, an employment and skilling centre at the new hospital created in partnership with Lend Lease and the Federal Government, given the site will employ around 2500 workers during its construction phase alone,” Mayor Jamieson said.
“As time goes on, that sector will be joined by growing sectors in aviation, education, the knowledge industry, agri-business, tourism and major events, and the clean technology industry.
“We are seeing good early results from a new wave of confidence, which in time will stimulate other investment growth – which means more jobs for people in this region and greater community prosperity.”
Council figures also show construction approvals and associated building values increased by 52% and 60% respectively throughout 2013, a further indication the region is heading in the right direction.
The figures show new building values were estimated at $177 million in the January-March 2013 quarter, increasing to more than $283 million by the October-December 2013 quarter – and these figures do not include the Sunshine Coast University Hospital project.
The number of construction approvals increased from 1035 to 1575 over the same period.
Mayor Jamieson said these latest figures came on the back of Master Builders’ statistics which showed the Sunshine Coast November 2013 housing approvals grew 150% year-on-year, the highest in the state.
“You only have to look around and see things are starting to move and while it is still early days, we are on the right track,” he said.
“Council is committed to encouraging new business, providing jobs for our residents and maintaining the great lifestyle we all love and enjoy.
“Our aim is to be the most sustainable region in Australia and we can combine growth with a sustainable economy, environment and community.”