Small Area Labour Markets publication

March 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 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 2016 SALM estimates show that a majority (51.6 per cent) of SA2s recorded a fall in their unemployment rate over the year to the March quarter 2016, up from 36.9 per cent over the year to the March quarter 2015. Large falls were recorded in Lavington in New South Wales (down from 18.3 per cent to 12.4 per cent), Corio – Norlane in Victoria (down from 22.1 per cent to 16.4 per cent) and Forestier – Tasman in Tasmania (down from 11.4 per cent to 7.2 per cent).

In the March quarter 2016, 45.6 per cent of SA2s recorded an unemployment rate of less than 5.0 per cent, up from 44.2 per cent in the March quarter 2015, while 13.1 per cent of SA2s recorded an unemployment rate of 10.0 per cent or above, down from 14.1 per cent in the March quarter 2015.

Labour market developments at the LGA level

Unemployment has also decreased in a number of LGAs, with 42.1 per cent having recorded a fall in their unemployment rate over the year to the March quarter 2016, although this is down from 46.5 per cent over the year to the March quarter 2015. Large falls were recorded in Wentworth (A) in New South Wales (down by 4.6 percentage points to 10.4 per cent), Tasman (M) in Tasmania (down by 4.2 percentage points to 7.2 per cent) and Colac-Otway in Victoria (down by 4.0 percentage points to 3.2 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 6.9 percentage points to 27.0 per cent) and Adelaide (C) (up by 3.1 percentage points to 9.8 per cent).

In the March quarter 2016, 40.1 per cent of LGAs recorded an unemployment rate of less than 5.0 per cent, compared with 41.2 per cent in the March quarter 2015, while 12.1 per cent of LGAs recorded an unemployment rate of 10.0 per cent or above, down from 13.4 per cent in the March quarter 2015.

Significant differences exist at the State level, with 45.1 per cent of LGAs in New South Wales recording an unemployment rate below 5.0 per cent, compared with just 26.9 per cent in Queensland.

Next Issue

It is anticipated that the June quarter 2016 issue of SALM will be released in September 2016.

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 Andrew Gatenby on (02) 6240 9130, or email: salm@employment.gov.au.