Cairns Regional Council

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Cairns Regional Council

Outlook overview

Impacts of COVID-19 on Cairns Regional Council's Economy

COVID19 will have a substantial negative impact on economic activity in 2020. The spatial impacts of the pandemic are uneven and will depend on the level of cases, industry mix and export exposure. In response, .id has developed a COVID-19 Outlook Tool to show the economic and industry impacts at the LGA level. This tool draws on NIEIR’s economic forecasts of COVID-19 over a three year period.

Compared to pre COVID-19 forecasts, Cairns Regional Council's economy will be -304 million, or -3.1% smaller in 2020. This impact is relatively high and is above Regional QLD impact of -1.9%.

As illustrated in the figure below, the cumulative impact of COVID-19 is estimated at 305 million over the next two years.

There will be around -1,964 fewer jobs in 2020 than the pre COVID 19 forecasts. This impact represents around -2.2% of all jobs, above the impact on Regional QLD. Local Jobs are not forecast to reach pre COVID-19 levels before June Qtr 2022. The impact on Employed residents is forecast to be higher than Local Jobs.

But many more jobs are vulnerable* and are currently being supported by JobKeeper. The impacts on Local Jobs and Employed residents could be even higher without JobKeeper. The modelling shows that 1,079 Local Jobs, or 1.3% of all jobs, are at risk once the scheme is tapered back.

Covid-19 Forecasts
(compared to pre-covid forecast)

Economic impacts on GRP


Impacts on employment

-2.2% Local Jobs

-1.2% Employed residents

Vulnerable jobs (working 0 hours but on JobKeeper as at March Qtr 2021)

1,079 Local jobs

1.3% of total jobs

The 3 most impacted sectors

  • Accommodation and Food Services: -1,095 Local jobs (-12.6%)
  • Transport, Postal and Warehousing: -228 Local jobs (-4.4%)
  • Other Services: -172 Local jobs (-4.0%)
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Cairns Regional Council

economic profile