Small Area Labour Markets publication

September quarter 2017

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 42 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

The September quarter 2017 SALM estimates show that more than half (53.8 per cent) of SA2s recorded a fall in their unemployment rate over the year to the September quarter 2017, down from 61.7 per cent over the year to the September quarter 2016. Large falls were recorded in Mandurah in Perth (down by 9.6 percentage points to 14.9 per cent), Manoora in Queensland (down by 6.5 percentage points to 13.8 per cent) and Bourke – Brewarrina in New South Wales (down by 5.2 percentage points to 4.6 per cent).

In the September quarter 2017, 52.0 per cent of SA2s recorded an unemployment rate of less than 5.0 per cent, up from 48.9 per cent in the September quarter 2016, while 10.5 per cent of SA2s recorded an unemployment rate of 10.0 per cent or above, down from 12.0 per cent in the September quarter 2016.

Labour market developments at the LGA level

Unemployment has also decreased in the majority of LGAs, with 65.3 per cent having recorded a fall in their unemployment rate over the year to the September quarter 2017, up from 54.4 per cent over the year to the September quarter 2016. Large falls were recorded in Halls Creek (S) in Western Australia (down by 8.2 percentage points to 28.4 per cent), Walgett (A) in New South Wales (down by 5.3 percentage points to 6.5 per cent) and Central Goldfields (S) in Victoria (down by 4.9 percentage points to 6.8 per cent).

That said, a number of LGAs recorded a rise in their unemployment rate, with large increases recorded in Clarence Valley (A) in New South Wales (up by 4.1 percentage points to 9.8 per cent) and Southern Downs (R) in Queensland (up by 2.2 percentage points to 6.0 per cent).

In the September quarter 2017, 49.8 per cent of LGAs recorded an unemployment rate of less than 5.0 per cent, compared with 38.6 per cent in the September quarter 2016, while 8.3 per cent of LGAs recorded an unemployment rate of 10.0 per cent or above, down from 11.6 per cent in the September quarter 2016.

Significant differences exist at the State level, with 61.3 per cent of LGAs in Western Australia recording an unemployment rate below 5.0 per cent, compared with just 20.8 per cent in Queensland.

Next Issue

It is anticipated that the December quarter 2017 issue of SALM will be released in March 2018.

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.