Residential construction activity has received a positive boost according to the figures released this month, by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). Victoria was the only state to record an increase in building activity in May, driven by a strong rise in residential building approvals.
The ABS approval figures showed a 5.8 per cent rise in the value of total building approvals for the month. The value of residential approvals in May increased by 12.1 per cent to $2.57 billion, up 6.3 per cent over the year. Over a twelve month period to May 2016, Victoria had the second highest value of total building approvals and second highest number of dwelling unit approvals with a contribution 29 per cent to Australia's total approvals.
Victoria has just over 25 per cent of the nation's population; acting Treasurer Gavin Jennings commented that the building and construction industry remained strong, and continued to create jobs, which will help drive the state's economy. “We're seeing a good mix of apartment sizes and detached housing which maintains liveability and housing affordability,” said Minister for Planning Wade Noonan.
The labour market also continued to perform strongly, with data released showing that jobs growth is booming in regional Victoria. In the three months to June, an additional 15,800 regional Victorians found employment, with 5100 of those jobs, full time. Employment growth was particularly good in the Geelong and North West Victorian regions with 9500 people and 4700 people employed respectively. The unemployment rate in Victoria has also dropped from 6.7 per cent in March to 5.6 per cent in June, which is the the biggest drop in the country.
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