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THE GEOGRAPHY OF JOBS
by Tim Lawless, 21st Sept 2011
Having a job is pretty high on the list of household priorities. Also high on the list is having a degree of confidence that you are going to keep your job into the future and that you are going to be paid a fair amount. With Australia’s unemployment rate at just 5.1% it’s reasonable to assume that most of us have a job; for 94.9% of the population that appears to be the case.
The situation can be very different from region to region however. The regional trends in unemployment are often overlooked for the headline figures. Nationally the rate of unemployment is 5.1% however once you move outside the capital cities the rate of unemployment tends to be higher. In fact, across every state unemployment rates are higher in the regional markets compared with the capital city (except for South Australia).
The Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations (DEEWR, http://www.deewr.gov.au) provides a quarterly update of labour market trends at the Statistical Local Area (SLA) level which provides a pretty decent granular view of how employment and unemployment are tracking.
The lists below show the top 50 SLA’s for the highest and lowest rates of unemployment around Australia. The maps below the tables show the trends geographically across each capital city and surrounding regions. The trends speak for themselves so I wont provide a great deal of commentary, suffice to say the labour market conditions across the outer fringes of the capital cities and the regional lifestyle areas tend to be considerably worse than other areas. The resource intensive locations are clearly employment hotspots and the inner city locations where housing prices and the cost of living are generally higher also show low levels of unemployment.