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Regional Job Opportunities Hit Record Levels Around the Country

April 30 2021

The demand for workers in regional Australia has hit an all-time high, with more than 66,200 jobs available in regional towns and cities across the country, according to the Regional Australia Institute (RAI).

RAI CEO Liz Ritchie says this is the largest number since records began, surpassing the demand during the mining construction boom a decade ago.

“Regional job vacancies now account for nearly one third of all vacancies across the country. The last time the labour market was this strong was during the mining construction boom in 2011-2012,” Ms Ritchie said.

“Back then, the overall economic situation was defined by the country’s two-speed economy, with job ads narrowly based in the resource-rich states and industries.

“By contrast, the current strength in the regional labour market is broadly based across all states and territories and occupations, with the greatest demand being for professionals and skilled tradespeople,” Liz Richie said.

In March 2021, a record number of jobs were advertised in regional areas of New South Wales, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory. In Queensland and Western Australia, regional job vacancies were not far below previous records, while in the Northern Territory, regional job ads have been trending higher over the past eight months.

RAI Chief Economist Dr Kim Houghton says the Dubbo and Western NSW Region recorded the strongest annual growth, with job ads up by 117% in the year to March 2021.

“Each and every one of the thirty-two regions outside of the mainland state capitals had more vacancies in March 2021 than in the previous month and also more vacancies than a year earlier,” Dr Houghton said.

The stand-out sector driving labour demand in regional areas is Health Care and Social Assistance, followed by Public Administration and Safety, then the Professional, Scientific and Technical Services sectors. To find more details, please go to the RAI’s Regional Jobs Vacancy Report.

“There are so many opportunities across regional Australia, which is why RAI has launched its national multi-million dollar Move to More campaign,” Ms Ritchie said.

The campaign’s television, radio and digital ads will begin rolling out from the end of May.

“Our research in December 2020 found that one in five people living in Perth, Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne are considering a move to regional Australia within the next three years – half of them, within 12 months,” Liz Ritchie said.

“We need to embrace this regional renaissance and rebalance the nation’s population away from our congested capitals if we are to have a sustainable and productive future,” Liz Ritchie said.

“Of course there will be growing pains with regionalisation, but we should not shy away from the challenges ahead – and housing is one of those.

“While regional communities have long faced housing challenges, these have been amplified by the increased interest in regional living sparked by the coronavirus pandemic and the working-from-home phenomenon.

“Housing will be the focus of RAI’s next event in our Regions Rising Webinar Series, where we will bring together experts in the field to shine a light on the challenges and start formulating solutions,” Liz Ritchie said.

Housing in Regional Australia: Meeting a Growing Demand is a free, hour-long webinar to be held at 11am on Thursday 20 May 2021 in partnership with NBN Co and Nutrien Ag Solutions. To register, please click here.

For all media enquiries, please contact:
Dominique Schwartz
M: 0411 485 747
E: [email protected]