Small Area Labour Markets publication

December quarter 2014

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 December quarter 2014 Small Area Labour Markets estimates show that unemployment has increased in a number of areas. A majority (64.2 per cent) of SA2s recorded an increase in their unemployment rate over the year to the December quarter 2014. Large increases were recorded in Lavington in New South Wales (up from 8.1 per cent to 16.2 per cent), Girrawheen in Perth (up from 12.2 per cent to 17.9 per cent) and Corio – Norlane in Victoria (up from 16.0 per cent to 20.7 per cent).

In the December quarter 2014, 45.0 per cent of SA2s recorded an unemployment rate of less than 5.0 per cent, down from 49.8 per cent in the December quarter 2013, while 13.8 per cent of SA2s recorded an unemployment rate of 10.0 per cent or above, up from 11.0 per cent in the December quarter 2013.

Labour market developments at the LGA level

Unemployment has also increased in a number of LGAs, with 54.0 per cent of LGAs having recorded an increase in their unemployment rate over the year to the December quarter 2014, down from 71.5 per cent over the year to the December quarter 2013. Large increases were recorded in Albury (C) in New South Wales (up by 5.7 percentage points to 12.0 per cent), Charters Towers (R) in Queensland (up by 3.5 percentage points to 11.5 per cent) and Greater Shepparton (C) in Victoria (up by 3.3 percentage points to 8.7 per cent).

Encouragingly, a number of LGAs recorded a decline in their unemployment rate, with large falls recorded in East Arnhem (R) in Northern Territory (down by 5.7 percentage points to 10.5 per cent) and Griffith (C) in New South Wales (down by 1.7 percentage points to 4.6 per cent).

In the December quarter 2014, 40.8 per cent of LGAs recorded an unemployment rate of less than 5.0 per cent, compared with 44.7 per cent in the December quarter 2013, while 12.0 per cent of LGAs recorded an unemployment rate of 10.0 per cent or above, up from 10.6 per cent in the December quarter 2013.

Significant differences exist at the State level, with 58.0 per cent of LGAs in Western Australia recording an unemployment rate below 5.0 per cent, compared with just 13.8 per cent in Tasmania.

Next Issue

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