2021: A Year in Review - Brisbane.

The year 2021 began with renewed hope for better times ahead - with the Australian economy stricken by Covid the previous year.  

While the pandemic caused a significant negative impact and disrupted many industries, demand for skilled professionals in Queensland soared - much like the other capital cities. Low interest rates and a boost in investment and infrastructure spend meant it was a particularly busy time for construction and infrastructure projects.

Sydney’s extended lockdown and higher Covid case numbers in 2021 created uncertainty in the region. On the other hand, Queensland was quite effective in keeping their Covid numbers low. 

As a result, Queensland’s precautionary, risk-averse approach in response to navigating the pandemic produced confidence in the candidate market compared to Sydney and the other states.  




Brisbane’s project pipeline attracted high interstate arrivals

Interstate migration from Sydney and Melbourne to Brisbane reached its peak in 2021.  

Queensland was among the most popular migration destinations for lockdown-weary residents yearning for flexible work arrangements. The shift came from a realisation of Brisbane’s housing affordability, lifestyle, as well as the expanding job market and opportunities. 

Within the building and construction sectors in Brisbane, we witnessed a trend of candidates being more open to changing jobs. Even with the abundance of work opportunities, candidate shortages weren’t as pronounced as they had been in NSW.

A decent pipeline of work from the Brisbane metro area, including the Cross River Rail,  allowed mobility for FIFO workers - who were previously bound to regional Queensland for roads or mining projects. The optimism and positive outlook was amplified following the announcement of Brisbane being the main host city of the 2032 Olympic Games.  

The upcoming exciting projects and government commitments provided jobseekers confidence and security the next 5 or 6 years would bring - allowing them to pursue other career options.  


Major Brisbane projects in 2021

Aside from the Olympic Games announcement, 2021 was the year the Queensland Government started gearing up to start or complete billions of dollars worth of major road and transport upgrades.

A boom in metropolitan infrastructure included projects like the Cross River Rail, Queensland’s largest infrastructure project. This project will support more than 7,700 jobs during the life of its construction and create 450 opportunities for trainees and apprentices.  

Inland Rail was another key initiative of the Australian Government's $110 billion infrastructure pipeline. It will provides benefits such as: 

  • major road and rail upgrades to improve connections between regional communities and domestic/international markets
  • economic stimulus
  • job support
  • reduced emissions 
  • road safety outcomes

Resourced based projects, like the Carmichael Coal Mine and Rail Project, played a central role in helping Queensland employ its way through Covid. While Brisbane has been traditionally a heavily resourced based state, there is optimism that privately financed infrastructure and construction projects will create a momentum of consistent work and stabilisation, in addition to the Olympics.  



Overall, 2021 was an extraordinary year for Brisbane. Low interest rates, investment across infrastructure and construction, and the Olympics announcement created confidence within the candidate market to enable them to pursue other career options.

Queensland’s well-articulated and decisive strategy in managing the Covid outbreak resulted in lower transmission numbers, attracting an influx of domestic migration from Sydney and Melbourne.  

A strong project pipeline including the Cross River Rail and Inland Rail stimulated job creation and growth in the Queensland economy, to meet the needs of the growing region.  

2022 is set to deliver continued promising results - leveraging more investment in Queensland and driving jobs growth as part of the economic recovery.


About CGC Recruitment

CGC Recruitment is a specialist construction, infrastructure, engineering, and architecture recruitment consultancy. We view our clients as our partners and work closely with them to meet their business needs. We work with some of Australia’s largest construction brands through to specialist SMEs and boutique consultants. We have proven experience delivering permanent, contract and retained recruitment solutions, consistently providing the right candidates for the right roles at the right time.

If you have an active role you’d like to discuss or just want to talk to a specialist consultant, please contact us. Alternatively, you can complete our online client form and a member of our team will contact you.