Budget 2013/14 Northern Territory Economy
Tabled paper 295
Tabled Papers for 12th Assembly 2012 - 2016; Tabled Papers; ParliamentNT
Tabled by David Tollner
Made available by the Legislative Assembly of the Northern Territory under Standing Order 240. Where copyright subsists with a third party it remains with the original owner and permission may be required to reuse the material.
Department of the Treasury and Finance
64 Labour Market 2013-14 Budget Outlook Activity related to major projects is expected to escalate in coming years, underpinning strengthening resident employment growth. Employment is expected to increase by 3.0percent in 2013-14 before peaking at 4.5percent in 2014-15 as work on the Ichthys project reaches its highest employment level supported by growth in residential construction and retail trade. Resident employment growth is expected to slow in 2015-16 as the Ichthys project is completed and economic activity is expected to return to long-term trend levels. Employment growth is not expected to reach rates seen in previous periods of strong economic growth, mostly due to the large FIFO workforce and weakness in growth in employment in other industries, particularly public administration and safety. Resident employment in the retail sector is expected to recover its losses from 2011-12 and 2012-13, stimulated by strengthening employment, wages and population growth and increasing residential construction, which is forecast to lead to increased purchasing of housing-related goods from 2013-14 (see Chapter 7: Retail and Wholesale Trade). Following the completion of the construction phase of the Ichthys project, it is anticipated that resident employment growth will slow substantially, with employment numbers projected to grow by 0.5percent in 2016-17, compared with the previous year. The Territorys unemployment rate is expected to decrease through to 2015-16, as more job-seekers are able to find employment. The rising cost of living expenses may further decrease the Territorys unemployment rate, as job seekers, in particular those reliant on welfare, may relocate to lower-cost locations in other jurisdictions or enter the labour force. Increasing labour force participation rates would likely be due to strengthening employment prospects in areas such as retail. The unemployment rate is expected to begin to rise from 2016-17 with the number of new jobs being created slowing, as the Ichthys construction is completed and a number of other large projects scale down their workforce numbers. The WPI is forecast to strengthen in coming years as the Ichthys project is expected to place upward pressure on wages in 2013-14 onwards, with the arrival of the FIFO workforce. Growth in the WPI is expected to peak at 4.0percent in 2014-15, driven by strong growth in private sector wages. This reflects higher wages growth as a result of labour shortages in areas such as construction due to the effect of the Ichthysproject construction peak. Growth in public sector wages is expected to remain subdued over the coming years reflecting fiscal consolidation in government finances across all tiers of government. Employment Unemployment Wages