Denika Brand speaks about her struggle in finding employment, now employed at Eyes R Us Mount Pleasant.
Denika Brand speaks about her struggle in finding employment, now employed at Eyes R Us Mount Pleasant. Louise Starkey

Denika is a jobs statistic on the right side of the ledger

UPDATE: Denika Brand recently found full time work.  

She filled one of the jobs that helped lift the employment rate in Mackay by 300 jobs.   

She initially struggled to launch herself into the full-time job market, even after completing high school.  

The 19-year-old student, who had previously worked in hospitality on a casual basis, felt she was not given the "time of day" or chance to prove her work ethic and ability when she began applying for full-time employment.  

Until she secured a full-time position at Eyes R Us Optometrists and Fashion Eyewear, Ms Brand was a statistic - part of the 15.4% youth unemployment rate in Mackay in February (as stated by the Australian Government's Department of Employment).  

"Employers want experience and because I did not do business subjects in high school and left without an OP, I was overlooked," she said.  

"It's unfortunate because if you don't have those qualifications, you're not going to get the opportunity to be able to learn and prove yourself and your capability."  

An experience well-felt.  

Ms Brand said a number of her classmates had also had difficulty finding full-time work.  

"I just think that if you apply for a job and turn up to an interview, with your resume done and a great work ethic, you should be given the same chance as everyone else," she said.  

"I'm lucky to have the job I have now and feel that if I didn't seek help and say something, I wouldn't have it today.  

"You just need to make that first move."  

More jobs in Mackay than a month ago

There are more jobs now in Mackay compared to a month ago, according to the latest figures released from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS). 

There are 300 more positions in March compared to February this year.

The number of jobs fell at the end of last year, seeing a total loss of 6,100 positions from December (95,600 employed) to January (89,500 employed).

The figure, which has gradually moved back up to an estimated 93,200 persons employed in February, has yet again increased to 93,500 for March: 57,700 males and 35,800 females. 

The Mackay rise has also bucked the trend seen in the rest of the state.

For Queensland, employment figures have dropped 3500 from February to March: from a total of 2,390,400 employed to 2,350,900.

However, the annual trend employment growth rate in Australia was 2.2%, down from 2.6% in December last year.

That's an increase of around 250,000 persons employed, across the nation, compared with 300,000 persons, as stated on the ABS website.

"In March 2016, the trend employment to population ratio remained at 61.2%. This reflects an increase over the year from 60.8% to 61.2%, while over the same period the unemployment rate decreased from 6.2% to 5.8%," ABS' macroeconomic statistics division general manager Bruce Hockman said.

Latest figures released by ABS stated trend employment increased by 7700 persons to 11,910,000 persons across the nation the past month, which equated to a monthly growth rate of 0.10%. This monthly growth rate was below the monthly average over the past 20 years (0.15%), and down from the rate of 0.25% in September 2015.

The trend monthly hours worked in all jobs series decreased by 1.8 million hours (0.11%) to 1,643.7 million hours.

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