The number of Australian regions located outside capital cities with an unemployment rate below five per cent rose to an eight-year high in the March quarter 2019, new data reveals.
The Department of Employment, Skills, Small and Family Business has published the Small Area Labour Markets (SALM) dataset for the March quarter 2019, presenting a snapshot of labour market conditions at a regional level. SALM provides estimates of unemployment, labour force and the unemployment rate for around 2,100 Statistical Area Level 2s (SA2s) and 540 Local Government Areas.
The report showed that 477 of the 897 SA2s outside the capital cities had an unemployment rate of less than five per cent, the largest number since the series began in December 2010.
Labour Market Analyst Ivan Neville said that while the improvement in unemployment rates in non-capital city areas was encouraging, SA2s in capital cities were still more likely to have recorded an unemployment rate of less than five per cent.
“More than 60 per cent of capital city SA2s recorded an unemployment rate of less than five per cent, compared with 53 per cent of the SA2s located outside the capitals,” Ivan said.
“Encouragingly, and in line with the strong labour market conditions at the national level, 56 per cent of SA2s recorded a fall in their unemployment rate over the year to the March quarter 2019.”
Reflecting the strong labour market conditions recorded in Victoria, more than eight out of every 10 SA2s recorded a decrease in their unemployment rate over the year to the March quarter 2019.
Ivan also highlighted that there had been a decline in the number of SA2s recording an unemployment rate of greater than 10 per cent.
“The data also show that just 9.5 per cent of SA2s recorded an unemployment rate of 10 per cent or above in the March quarter 2019, the lowest number of SA2s in six years,” Ivan said.
The chart below shows the proportion of SA2s with an unemployment rate below five per cent, comparing capital city SA2s with those in the rest of the country: