Gold Coast Economy and Infrastructure
The Gold Coast is Australia’s sixth largest city3 and one of the fastest growing. As of June 2020 the city's economy has an estimated Gross Regional Product (GRP) of $38.1 million, making up 10.24% of Queensland’s total economy.4
As a city that is predominantly known for its booming tourism industry, it’s no surprise that much like many others around the world Gold Coast’s economy saw the negative impacts of COVID-19, especially in terms of the unemployment rate. As the below graph indicates, Gold Coast’s unemployment rate has soared to new highs, eventually reaching a peak of 7.2% in March 2021.5 In April 2021, Gold Coast’s unemployment rate recorded its first decrease since March 2020, showing promising signs for the city’s future.
Source: Unemployment Rate, Participation Rate & Employment Rate Time Series
This decline in economy and employment figures can be attributed to the loss of tourism Gold Coast experienced in 2020. Compared to 2019, the Gold Coast experienced a 39% decline in total visitors, most of this due to the loss of daytrips and interstate visitors caused by border closures and lockdowns.6
As Gold Coast’s economy is heavily reliant on domestic tourism compared to international visitors, 2021 aims to be a good year for the city’s economic growth as the state borders are beginning to open up and domestic travel is increasingly being encouraged.
In order to boost the economic recovery of the region, the Queensland government have invested $1.146 billion of capital investment in 2020-21.7 Through identifying 24 infrastructure projects to be prioritised as part of their Gold Coast Regional Recovery Action Plan,8 the government aims to build opportunities and create jobs to fuel the growth of the Gold Coast’s economy.