Small Area Labour Markets publication

June quarter 2016

Small Area Labour Markets

Introduction

Small Area Labour Markets presents regional estimates of unemployment and the unemployment rate at two small area levels:

  • For approximately 2,100 Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) Statistical Area Level 2s (SA2s), on a State/Territory and Metropolitan/Non-metropolitan basis, provided in Table 1. For the States, estimates for the Capital City and the Balance of each State are also provided; and
  • For each of Australia’s 550 Local Government Areas (LGAs), provided in Table 2.

The estimates in Table 1 and 2 are smoothed using a four-quarter average to minimise the variability inherent in small area estimates. A description of the methodology used to prepare the estimates in this publication is presented in the Explanatory Notes on this site as well as on page 49 of the PDF publication, page 6 of the linked PDF text only and Word text only documents.

Caution: Highly disaggregated estimates of unemployment and the unemployment rate at the SA2 and LGA level can display significant variability and should be viewed with caution. Indeed, quarter-to-quarter comparisons may not be indicative of actual movements in the labour market. It is therefore recommended that year-on-year comparisons be used.

Labour market developments at the SA2 level

September   quarter   2016   SALM    estimates    show   that   a   majority (61.4 per cent) of SA2s recorded a fall in their unemployment rate over the year to the September quarter 2016, up from 40.5 per cent over the year to the September quarter 2015. Large falls were recorded in Mount Morgan in Queensland (down from 28.0 per cent to 19.1 per cent), Cessnock in New South Wales (down from 17.5 per cent to 9.8 per cent) and Berri in South Australia (down from 17.1 per cent to 11.2 per cent).

In the September quarter 2016, 49.2 per cent of SA2s recorded an unemployment rate of less than 5.0 per cent, up from 42.8 per cent in the September quarter 2015, while 12.1 per cent of SA2s recorded an unemployment rate of 10.0 per cent or above, down from 14.4 per cent in the September quarter 2015.

Labour market developments at the LGA level

Unemployment has also decreased in the majority of LGAs, with 55.1 per cent having recorded a fall in their unemployment rate over the year to the September quarter 2016, up from 36.6 per cent over the year to the September quarter 2015. Large falls were recorded in Muswellbrook (A) in New South Wales (down by 5.3 percentage points to 6.9 per cent), Tasman (M) in Tasmania (down by 5.0 percentage points to 5.7 per cent) and Berri and Barmera (DC) in South Australia (down by 4.2 percentage points to 8.1 per cent).

That said, a number of LGAs recorded an increase in their unemployment rate, with large increases recorded in Derby-West Kimberley (S) in Western Australia (up by 4.0 percentage points to 27.0 per cent) and George Town (M) in Queensland (up by 3.2 percentage points to 12.6 per cent).

In the September quarter 2016, 39.3 per cent of LGAs recorded an unemployment rate of less than 5.0 per cent, compared with 40.3 per cent in the September quarter 2015, while 12.7 per cent of LGAs recorded an unemployment rate of 10.0 per cent or above, down from 15.6 per cent in the September quarter 2015.

Significant differences exist at the State level, with 46.2 per cent of LGAs in New South Wales recording an unemployment rate below 5.0 per cent, compared with just 19.2 per cent in Queensland.

Next Issue

It is anticipated that the December quarter 2016 issue of SALM will be released in March 2017.

Contact details

This report was prepared by the Labour Market Analysis and Advice Section within the Labour Market Research and Analysis Branch. For further information, please contact Joel Meehan on (02) 6240 5358, or email:  salm@employment.gov.au.