Wide Bay tipped to have lowest jobs growth in Queensland

MAJOR Fraser Coast industries such as tourism and agriculture are tipped to have the lowest employment growth of all the region's industries over the next six years.

But healthcare and social assistance could come to the rescue, with employment growth of 3.1% tipped in Wide Bay.

The forecast growth was revealed in an inaugural skills report prepared for the Queensland Government by the Ministerial Industry Commission.

It tipped the Wide Bay to have the lowest employment growth of all Queensland regions into 2018-19.

The report will help steer the allocation of funding for training and education, but offered little reprieve from the employment woes the Wide Bay has suffered for several years.

Regional unemployment figures for February this year compiled by the Australian Bureau of Statistics put the Wide Bay jobless rate at 9.7% - one of the highest in the state.

Maryborough Chamber of Commerce president Craig Winter said programs being put in place by the Fraser Coast Council and the State Government may help address the problem.

"Council and state government are actively attempting to get more industry in Wide Bay," he said.

"Agriculture is probably going to be the biggest problem."

He said the tourism industry appeared to be stagnant, and would need to change before it could grow.

Fraser Coast Mayor Gerard O'Connell said the concept of turning the Fraser Coast into a foodbowl - with local produce on offer in local restaurants - could help support both industries.



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