The Regional Australia Institute (RAI) has embarked on a Regional Jobs campaign to present the facts around the job market in regional Australia.
The purpose of our campaign is to start a new conversation about the employment opportunities that currently exist and also to discredit this anecdotal myth that there are no jobs in regional Australia.
Contrary to popular belief, there are plenty of job vacancies across many parts of regional Australia, with a wide range of industries and professions looking for a mix of workers.
In September 2018, there were around 47,000 jobs advertised in regional Australia. Current data from the Commonwealth Government’s Internet Vacancy Index shows that vacancy growth is higher in regional Australia than in our capital cities, when comparing data from September 2015-16 to September 2017-18. Vacancy rates increased by 18 percent in the regions, compared to just 8 percent in metropolitan areas.
The data also helps us understand which regions are seeing the greatest growth rate of vacancies when contrasting growth from September 2016 to September 2018.
Outback Queensland had the highest percentage increase with 55 percent. This is followed by Pilbara and Kimberley, which increased by 54 percent. Goldfields in Southern WA and Far North Queensland both saw a vacancy increase of 34 percent, while Newcastle and Hunter also experienced a 33 percent increase.
The emphasis on our resource regions reinforces information that the RAI has been receiving over recent months. The post mining bust has bottomed out and serious skills needs are again emerging in these places.
The types of vacancies that regional Australia is currently experiencing are a mix of high skill and low skill jobs. Everything from labouring, through to sales, trades and professions.
In Far North Queensland, there are around 4,400 vacancies including 1,072 trades (many automotive), 900 professionals (mostly medical), 548 clerical, 464 machinery operators, 415 labourers and 384 community and personal service workers.
In Newcastle and the Hunter there are 3,774 vacancies, with 912 professionals, 790 trades (automotive) and 526 clerical staff needed in these two areas.
In the Riverina in NSW, there are 1,087 vacancies, including 330 professionals (many medical), 167 trades (automotive), 129 clerical and 107 labourers.
The waves of job change washing over the whole country are making a splash in regions too. Demand is strong for a mix of trades, technical and labouring jobs, alongside the steady rise in demand for professional, managerial and other service jobs.
It is interesting to note that of the 37 regions in the Commonwealth Government’s Internet Vacancy Index, only four regional areas saw declining vacancies.
The Gold Coast and Darwin saw a 5 percent drop in job vacancies. For Tamworth and North West NSW, that figure decreased to 17 percent.
For the Fleurieu Peninsula and Murray Mallee region, its job vacancy numbers moved from 496 to 409.
What is happening with job vacancies in your community?