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Australia's Queensland could lose 40,000 jobs by mid 2011: report

12-21-2010 13:32 BJT

The Queensland state of Australia could lose almost 40,000 construction and retail jobs by mid 2011 as the effects of economic stimulus measures wear off, the Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) warned on Tuesday.

Giving dire predictions for the state's economy, the institute warned in its Development and Construction Industry Performance Report for 2010 that up to 26,000 construction jobs, 13,000 retail jobs, 4 billion dollars (3.99 billion U.S. dollars) in turnover and 490 million dollars (488 million U.S. dollars) in government revenue could disappear in Queensland by July 2011.

Without further government stimulus measures, 12,700 fewer dwellings would be built in 2011, with devastating flow-on consequences, the report said.

UDIA Queensland President Warren Harris said the December issue of the institute's quarterly research report presented a miserable outlook for the year ahead.

"Overall southeast Queensland private sector dwelling approvals have now declined to 40 percent lower than the averages of the period between 2006 and 2008," said Harris in a statement.

"Housing starts, which are always a later indicator of trends, have now dropped too - 25 percent in the last quarter alone."

Harris said there was an inherent lag between drops in housing approvals and when those declines flowed through to employment figures.

He cautioned against an excessively optimistic reading of the latest increases in industry employment.

"Unfortunately, it is the natural order of the industry that building approvals predict employment rates. If approvals are down, it's a matter of time before the consequences register in the employment data," said Harris.

"If the current low approval levels are allowed to continue well into next year, the industry, and the broader economy, will be facing massive losses," he warned.

"It is estimated, for example, that there is roughly one job in retail lost for every two construction jobs. So 26,000 jobs lost in construction would mean 13,000 lost in retail," he added.

Editor:Du Xiaodan |Source: Xinhua

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