New unemployment figures show the Gold Coast was already starting to feel the pinch well before the shutdown of thousands of businesses because of the coronavirus.
The Gold Coast lost another 1,200 jobs in Februrary, but surprisingly, the jobless rate actually fell slightly due to less people actually looking for work.
Unemployment on the Gold Coast dropped from 5.7 per cent in January, to 5.6 per cent in February
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The participation rate fell from 68.7 per cent, to 68.3 per cent.
The Gold Coast has now lost 5,100 jobs since October with that figure expected to rise significantly after thousands of people were laid off in the last couple of weeks.
Hundreds of the city’s bars, clubs, restaurants, cafes and cinemas were forced to shut down from Monday, leading to huge queues at Centrelink offices across the Gold Coast.
That shutdown was extended this week with beauty salons, nail salons, massage parlours, health and fitness centres and amusement parks among those included.
Businesses in the tourism sector had already started laying off staff after the Chinese travel ban was implemented in January, severely impacting visitor numbers during the Lunar New Year period.
Some of the Gold Coast’s biggest employers are among those that have been impacted by the shutdown.
The city’s theme parks had already decided to close even before the Prime Minister’s announcement on Tuesday night.
Star Entertainment Group has been forced to lay off 90 per cent of its 9,000 strong workforce at its casinos on the Gold Coast, Brisbane and Sydney.
The company employed 2,500 people at its Gold Coast casino alone.