Stats show Australia's got builders in
Australia appears to be stuck-in to construction and renovation, with employment rates in the building industry at a record high.
Speculators say the nation is moving from a mining-based economy to one built by the toil of construction workers, as resource unemployment rises along with the drop in joblessness for builders.
The latest figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics show the overall number employed in the industry jumped by 55,800 from 1.007 million in the three months to May to 1.063 million in the three months to August. It is officially the highest level on record, a massive leap from the same period in 2012, when 79.700 fewer people were working.
Also compared to the same period of 2012, employment numbers have risen everywhere except Tasmania. Victoria takes the lead with the addition of 33,600 workers over the past year.
It may just be a sign that along with mining comes plenty of building, according to Housing Industry Association chief economist Harley Dale. He says despite the fact that not many new projects have been announced of late - a point that may be disputed – the construction industry is still tackling the mound of contracts which have stemmed from already-approved projects.
Mr Dales believes there is a big difference between mining-related construction and the rest of the industry: “There is still quite a large discrepancy between the tail end of the resources related investment and the non-resources related investment which continued to go backwards,” he said.
The sector is set for a shake-up in coming months though, with the new Federal Government looking to reinstate the Australian Building and Construction Commission to replace the Fair Work Building and Construction inspectorate. Reports say Val Gostencnik, the Labor-appointed head of the FairWork building watchdog, has resigned this week over the coming changes.