Strong foundations to meet the challenges
Despite economic headwinds, the NSW economy and fiscal position remain strong with average annual surpluses of $1.3 billion forecast over the four years to 2021–22.
This year, NSW became the first Australian state to have a net worth of a quarter of a trillion dollars, while net debt reached a historic low of negative $11.2 billion at June 2018. This exceptional fiscal position is reflected in both major credit ratings agencies reaffirming NSW’s Triple A credit rating in late 2018.
Above-trend economic growth is expected for 2018–19. Looking further ahead, the economy is expected to face pressure from a cooling housing market and the impact of drought. Growth in 2019–20 is expected to ease close to the trend of 2½ per cent.
Employing the nation
A strong economy means more jobs and better opportunities for our people, and the NSW labour market continues to lead the nation. Unemployment is at a decade low 4.4 per cent and has remained the lowest of any state since mid-2015, with around 150,000 more people employed in NSW in just the last year.
More NSW residents are participating in the workforce than ever before, with the participation rate reaching a record 65.2 per cent, including record female participation of 60.4 per cent and increasing youth participation of 68 per cent. The outlook for employment remains strong, with growth forecast to increase faster than our population, at 3 per cent in 2018–19.