Queensland has the worst unemployment rate in the nation. The Australian Bureau of Statistics latest labour force data shows Queensland’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate has climbed to 6.3 per cent in October. Australia's seasonally adjusted unemployment rate is steady at 5 per cent. But what can be done about it? To learn more, read on.
Globalisation and technology are driving transformation of Australian cities and regions. This change is impacting unevenly across Australia. The rapid expansion of the business services sector is central to jobs growth and increasing prosperity for Australia as a whole, but it is centralising economic activity, jobs and investment in the big cities.
Most of Australia’s regions are economically challenged at the same time that some capital cities are experiencing excessive growth. Whilst the rise of business services is the jobs story of the new millennium, it does not easily translate to Australia’s small cities and regions.
Many regions are experiencing long term population decline arising from the replacement of labour with capital in traditional industries, driven by a combination of technological innovation and market forces. Their economies are narrowing and deepening in common with world-wide trends, with fewer but often bigger industry sectors based on local competitive advantages.
Public interventions in concert with private sector engagement and support can make a difference. Local Councils can help strengthen local business networks and address a range of factors within their control to support regions making better use of these economic endowments. Public interventions aimed at increasing economic performance need to concentrate on these advantages by helping to build new entrepreneurship and capacity to enable a region to capitalise on its opportunities.
Fit-for-purpose economic strategies are the new currency to higher standards of living and a brighter future for regional cities. Successfully responding to the impacts of transformational technologies and the fundamental changes occurring in the Australian economy requires cities taking new approaches to their economic strategies to achieve success.
The risk for cities is that business-as-usual strategies are unlikely to improve their economic outlook. Well researched, evidenced based, risk assessed initiatives are required to improve their economic outlook including engaging more effectively with national and international value chains. Developing new business models and upskilling the local workforce to participate in higher value business opportunities will build wealth and prosperity. Cities need to be seen to be investment ready and need to have an effective on-line strategy to attract the sorts of new investment and residents that will help power up their economies.
MacroPlan is a national economic and regional planning services firm who has been successfully helping many regional cities and towns across Australia to deal with these sorts of transformations. There are ways to grow your economy. Some will require investment decisions and support along the way, but the effort will be rewarded with economic improvements once the fruits of these investments flow through to the local economy.