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Legislative Assembly for the ACT: 2017 Week 14 Hansard (Tuesday, 28 November 2017) . . Page.. 5115 ..

good jobs. And it is good for our community as a whole because it supports the vibrancy and confidence that is making this city a place where people want to live and that people want to visit.

MS CHEYNE: Chief Minister, how is employment growth tracking throughout 2017, and what does this mean for local jobs?

MR BARR: Getting more Canberrans into good jobs, and keeping them in those jobs, is a top priority for the government. The latest employment data from the ABS shows that our unemployment rate, which now sits at 3.8 per cent, is the lowest of any jurisdiction in Australia. This has been achieved alongside a very high and rising level of workforce participation. Almost 20 jobs a day have been created in Canberra every day for the past 12 months, raising local employment by 6,700. With now over 222,100 Canberrans in work, we are experiencing an all-time historic high of employment in our city.

The majority of the new jobs created were full-time jobs: the kinds of good quality jobs that make supporting a family or buying a home possible. We have also seen a significant fall in the youth unemployment rate, which has shrunk by 2.4 percentage points over the past 12 months. Whilst there is always more work to do to get this number lower, the unemployment rate for young Canberrans is well below the national average and shows that our growing economy is creating jobs for people at every stage of their careers.

MR PETTERSSON: What are some of the factors contributing to the very strong economic and employment growth that the ACT has seen throughout 2017?

MR BARR: Our city is growing in every way. That is supporting a strong and sustained expansion of our economy and our employment base. The latest census showed that our population is growing more rapidly than that of any other state or territory. More people are choosing to make Canberra their home. It has been a record year for tourism, with 2.6 million domestic visitors and over 221,000 international visitors visiting Canberra. Our education and research sector continues to grow significantly, with the ACT now being Australia’s largest exporter of international education services on a per capita basis.

All of the signs suggest that there is much more to come in 2018 and beyond. Next year, Qatar Airways will launch flights to Canberra, which will bring even more international tourists to our city and make exporting services and products easier. Companies like Canberra Data Centres and CEA Technologies have recently signed major contracts worth hundreds of millions of dollars that will see their local operations continue to grow and see more local jobs created. The University of New South Wales Canberra is planning a new tertiary campus in the heart of the city, further bolstering Canberra’s national and international education offerings. This year, 2017, has been a very strong year for Canberra on the economic front. On this side of the chamber we are particularly excited about our city’s potential in 2018 and beyond.

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