Small Area Labour Markets publication

March quarter 2015

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 50 of the PDF publication, page 5 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

The March quarter 2015 Small Area Labour Markets estimates show that unemployment has increased in a number of areas. A majority (58.4 per cent) of SA2s recorded an increase in their unemployment rate over the year to the March quarter 2015, down from 63.1 per cent over the year to the March quarter 2014. Large increases were recorded in Cessnock in New South Wales (up from 8.9 per cent to 15.4 per cent), Corio – Norlane in Victoria (up from 15.9 per cent to 21.8 per cent) and Woodridge in Queensland (up from 18.0 per cent to 23.4 per cent).

In the March quarter 2015, 44.4 per cent of SA2s recorded an unemployment rate of less than 5.0 per cent, down from 48.8 per cent in the March quarter 2014, while 14.1 per cent of SA2s recorded an unemployment rate of 10.0 per cent or above, up from 10.9 per cent in the March quarter 2014.

Labour market developments at the LGA level

Unemployment has also increased in a number of LGAs, with 48.9 per cent of LGAs having recorded an increase in their unemployment rate over the year to the March quarter 2015, although this is down from 66.0 per cent over the year to the March quarter 2014. Large increases were recorded in Muswellbrook (A) in New South Wales (up by 5.3 percentage points to 10.2 per cent), Bundaberg (R) in Queensland (up by 2.9 percentage points to 11.0 per cent) and Armadale (C) in Perth (up by 2.6 percentage points to 9.4 per cent).

Encouragingly, a number of LGAs recorded a decline in their unemployment rate, with large falls recorded in West Arnhem (R) in Northern Territory (down by 3.9 percentage points to 7.5 per cent) and Cootamundra (A) in New South Wales (down by 2.6 percentage points to 4.4 per cent).

In the March quarter 2015, 41.9 per cent of LGAs recorded an unemployment rate of less than 5.0 per cent, compared with 43.1 per cent in the March quarter 2014, while 13.4 per cent of LGAs recorded an unemployment rate of 10.0 per cent or above, up from 10.4 per cent in the March quarter 2014.

Significant differences exist at the State level, with 62.3 per cent of LGAs in Western Australia recording an unemployment rate below 5.0 per cent, compared with just 20.7 per cent in Tasmania.

Next Issue

It is anticipated that the June quarter 2015 issue of Small Area Labour Markets will be released in September 2015.

Contact details

This report was prepared by the Labour Market Analysis Section within the Labour Market Research and Analysis Branch. For further information, please contact Andrew Gatenby on 02 6240 9130, or email: salm@employment.gov.au.