NEW development and infrastructure will inject $5.2 billion into the economy helping boost employment to record levels despite the pandemic, a new report reveals.
The $5.2bn in projects is responsible for more than 13 per cent of the Gold Coast’s entire economy, helping prop up the city despite tourism shedding one in five jobs since mid-2020.
The latest Colliers International Gold Coast Snapshot report out this week reveals the development industry is underwriting the city Covid recovery, with tourists still unable to visit the city.
Colliers Gold Coast director Steven King said the city was bouncing back faster than expected across certain sectors despite the huge impact on tourism.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has had a negative impact on business activity, particularly for businesses operating in the sectors of tourism and international education, however other sectors have thrived including logistics and the housing market.
“While the Gold Coast economy has not been immune to the current economic uncertainty, the long-term regional economic fundamentals are expected to underpin a positive long-term outlook for property investors.
“Obviously certain sectors have struggled such as tourism but the data shows that the city is not only enduring under the weight of these challenges but forecast to perform very well when things get back to normal.”
According to the snapshot, the Gold Coast’s increasing resilience was also evident in the latest employment figures, which show its employed ranks now total 371,100 persons – a historic record level in the region.
“The Gold Coast has historically been able to create job opportunities for the growing population,” the snapshot report reads.
“Despite the challenges imposed by the pandemic, the regional employment market has recovered quickly with the unemployment rate contracting from the peak of 8.9 per cent in July 2020 to 3.9 per cent in May 2021.”
Major projects either under construction or about to begin that the report cites are the $3.2 billion Skyridge – a Worongary mega-sub-division for 10,000 residents, the $1.5 billion first stage of the Coomera Connector, the $1.04 billion Broadbeach to Burleigh Light Rail Stage 3 extension, the M1 upgrade, the $500 million Queen Street Village Southport development and $800 million, two-tower Star expansion.
However, the report notes tourism, the city’s biggest pre-Covid sector, has been left devastated by the pandemic, lockdowns and border closures
New data released last week revealed one in five Gold Coast tourism jobs had disappeared since mid-2020 and another 4000 were tipped to disappear by Christmas.
Tourism, the Gold Coast biggest sector, lost nearly $4bn of its pre-Covid $6bn cash cow in 2020 alone.
It lost at least $550m for the months of July and August on the back of two snap lockdowns and border closures.