Unemployment now lower in North-West but Cradle Coast CEO says regions must work together

cradle coastNorth-West Tasmania no longer has the highest headline unemployment rate in the state, according to the Australian Local Government Association’s latest State Of The Regions report.

The report, released on Sunday, revealed the North-West’s unemployment rate has fallen over the last two years, recording 8.8 per cent in 2014 and 7.0 per cent so far in 2016. The rate in the North fell a modest .7 per cent from 7.9 per cent 2014 to 7.2 per cent so far this year.

Cradle Coast CEO Brett Smith said the North and North-West aim to work hand-in-hand for the benefit of both regions.

“North and North-West Tasmanian communities are interdependent with important economic relationships and connections,” he said.

“We need to work collaboratively across the North and North-West and trade on the unique advantages that we offer.”

But the report also reveals there are only 21.2 hours of work per week available relative to the number of adults available to work, suggesting many counted as employed are not working full time.

Mr Smith said underemployment is “both common and increasing across Australia.”

The average income per household has taken a hit, coming in at $88,540 in 2015 – a significant decrease from $96,750 recorded in 2012.

Mr Smith said Cradle Coast is working with councils in the North-West to stimulate growth in the region.

“The councils are committed to a regional economic development plan that is being developed by the Cradle Coast Authority,” he said.

“The plan will identify opportunities, barriers, gaps and comparative advantages that can activate the economy.”

Headline unemployment is a figure produced by the Department of Employment, taken from the Small Area Labour Markets publication. To read more click here.

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