Regional Victoria leads Australia in job creation

February 13, 2024 BY

Geelong's unemployment rate has dropped to 2.7 percent. Photo: DAVID CLODE

NEW Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) labour force figures show an extra 5,600 jobs were created in regional Victoria in December.

This surge is part of a larger trend that has seen more than 36,000 new jobs emerge in the region over the last year.

It is the first time in the history of the ABS monthly employment figures that every figure for the year came in below 4 per cent.

Victoria’s regional unemployment rate stands at 3 per cent, lower than the national regional average of 3.3 per cent.

Treasurer Tim Pallas said there were widespread benefits.

“Our jobs growth is strong across the state – it’s an important part of why communities in our cities, towns and rural areas are thriving.

“People want to live and work in Victoria, and businesses want to operate and grow here, and we’ll continue to create more job opportunities for Victorians.”

Geelong’s unemployment rate has further dropped to 2.7 per cent.

However, the high employment rate has left some businesses in the region struggling to find and attract staff.

Deakin University senior lecturer in economics Omar Bashar said it was all about supply and demand.

“Now the economy is booming, the supply of workers is not keeping up with demand.”

ABS head of labour statistics David Taylor said this trend is expected to continue.

“In trend terms, many of the key indicators still point to a tight labour market.”

Corangamite federal member Libby Coker said in January that workforce skill gaps were the target of the government’s Fee-Free TAFE program.

“TAFE is one of our greatest assets for ensuring our country is well positioned for future skills challenges, and meeting those challenges will be no small feat.”

Across the state employment figures are nearing a historic peak, with almost 3.68 million Victorians employed.

Nearly 530,000 jobs have been added since the peak economic challenges of the pandemic in September 2020, which is the strongest recovery in both absolute and percentage terms among all states.

Victoria’s economic expansion over the past two years has seen a cumulative growth of 9.1 per cent, surpassing New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, and Tasmania.

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