Interactive maps show jobless hotspots in Sydney and Melbourne

Although Australia’s national unemployment rate is 4%, parts of our major cities are doing it much harder, according to new data.

The data showed a wide disparity in unemployment rates in parts of Sydney and Melbourne, which is hidden in larger scale unemployment figures.

The disparity is more pronounced in Sydney where, despite an overall unemployment rate of 4%, the city’s south west – which includes Fairfield, Liverpool and Bringelly – has an unemployment rate of 9.3% compared to the very low rate of 0.7% in Sutherland.

Sydney’s affluent northern beaches also saw low unemployment with just 2.3% unemployed, while the eastern suburbs recorded 2.2%.

By comparison, south-east Melbourne has the highest unemployment rate in the city, at 7%, compared to 2.7% in the city’s south-central.

Economist Saul Eslake said that detail is an “important part of the story”.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows that although Australia is close to achieving full technical employment, this is not evenly distributed across regions.

Although the ABS said this fluctuation in region-specific data is more down to sampling and methodology, the data still points to broader trends in Australia’s two largest cities.

People in regions with higher unemployment rates are more likely to have more precarious jobs, often in casual, contract or temporary arrangements.

Mr Eslake added that this was somewhat to be expected, given that people in more affluent areas such as Sydney’s eastern suburbs and Melbourne’s south-central are, in general, better educated and older.

“In general, better educated people are older and in general are more likely to speak English and in general are more likely to be in positions such as managers and professionals, all of which are characteristics that drive lower unemployment nationwide.”

He said white-collar unemployment is lower today than it was at the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, when those employment rates had not returned to blue-collar occupations. or services.

As a result of these factors, regions with relatively high unemployment today were also the most recession-hit regions when the pandemic first took hold.

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In mid-2020, South West Sydney had extraordinarily high unemployment, with a rolling five-month average rate of 10.1%, compared to just 4.8% seen in Sutherland at its peak.

This disparity is also the case in Melbourne, with North West Melbourne recording an unemployment rate of 11.2% at the height of Melbourne’s Stage Four lockdown, compared to 6.5% in the Inner South.

Mr. Eslake also raised the fact that the lack of immigration over the past two years has contributed to relatively low unemployment rates.

“Those who are unemployed and looking for work are not in competition with recently arrived migrants,” he said.

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