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Govt should push jobs to regional centres

Govt should push jobs to regional centres

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Staff Reporter

More jobs need to head to regional areas if demand pressures on capital city housing markets are to ease, RP Data has said.

“While the capital cities are always going to the economic and financial centres of the country, a focus on jobs creation outside of the capitals needs to be long term strategy,” RP Data said. 

“There are a lot of challenges that need to be overcome in order for jobs to spread outside the capitals; arguably a high speed transport network (or the lack thereof) is the most obvious one, but there needs to be a lot of other infrastructure such as health care and educational facilities.”

RP Data undertook an analysis of the latest labour force data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), which showed there has been little change in how the geographic distribution of full time jobs has been divided between the capital city and regional locations of each state.

“Since 1978 (when the ABS series commences) the proportion of full time employment located in the capital cities has been between 65 per cent and 67 per cent,” the research company said.

RP Data said Victoria had the highest concentration of full time labour within the capital city (75.5 per cent of full time jobs are located in Melbourne), closely followed by Western Australia and South Australia, with 73.4 per cent of full time jobs located within Perth and Adelaide respectively.

“Queensland and Tasmania have a much higher level of geographic dispersion in the labour market with 47 per cent of full time jobs in Queensland being located within Brisbane and 43 per cent of Tasmania’s full time work force located in Hobart.

“As we pointed out in a previous blog, most of Australia’s largest companies insist on being headquartered in a capital city,” RP Data continued.

“In contrast, in the USA many of the most significant US based corporations are located in some of the smaller cities. A good example is Omaha, Nebraska which accounts for just 0.3 per cent of US population and is home to five of the top 500 companies in the US.

“We need to see more leadership from the federal and state governments in establishing regional labour markets  by locating government departments outside the capital cities and creating the infrastructure framework required to lure private business away from the traditional business centres.”

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