I like looking at things that other people are not. Among those are the SA4 regional working age population growth which is an input by the boffins at ABS to the employment number derived from the ABS Labour Force Survey:
What are those bumps along the path? It’s a good question given these growth numbers are annual (monthly YoY) on the previous year but are presumably revisions. I did once throw a query to ABS on how Townsville is adjusted because the LFS relates to civilian population. The response wasn’t really clear.
The decline was stemmed in April which should be expected as this correlates with when the immigration border was slammed shut in March 2020. I think I’d be surprised if Townsville and Mackay had actually declined over the year but will await any revisions. The most recent regional population estimates posted by ABS are to June 2020.