MEDIA RELEASE - Regional areas have enjoyed a pandemic influx, but many jobs are still waiting to be filled

Posted: 26th May

Regional areas have enjoyed a pandemic influx, but many jobs are still waiting to be filled

The Business By business reporter Stephanie Chalmers
 
View the full article HERE which includes all the smaller sub headings about various topics below.

People moving in but bringing their jobs with them

Like other regional areas, especially those within a few hours' drive of capital cities, Burrill Lake has attracted people making a pandemic-inspired sea change. 

The Bureau of Statistics estimates there was a net loss of 9,300 people from the Greater Sydney region in the final three months of 2020, the most in three years.

5,400 of those people moved elsewhere in the state.

Across the country, there was a net movement of 43,000 Australians to regional areas from capital cities over 2020 — the largest since the data was first collated in 2001.

New arrivals in towns increase demand for services — and in Burrill Lake's case, baked goods — but they're not necessarily available to fill the increased jobs required to meet those needs.

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So, what jobs are available in regional Australia?

The number of advertised job vacancies in regional Australia in April doubled from a year ago, surpassing the previous record high in 2011.

The Regional Australia Institute said the difference between the current situation and the previous peak a decade ago is that the jobs are more spread across industries, as opposed to concentrated in mining, and more geographically spread as well.

The biggest increases over the year have been in Tasmania, Victoria and NSW.

While the growth in job advertisements in the regions has outpaced the cities, there's still more jobs on offer across the capitals — accounting for around 74 per cent of all vacancies.

Mr Houghton said that roughly reflects the proportion of Australians living in regional areas.

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Lack of rentals and rising house prices a hurdle

No matter how attractive a job opportunity is, there is the crucial matter of where to live.

The pandemic effect is evident in regional housing markets, as some moved out of the cities, while less people from regional areas packed up and moved to the capitals.

That has increased the cost of renting or buying a house, as well as the competition to secure a property.

While the median price for a dwelling in regional Australia remains around $250,000 below the capital city price, the growth in regional home values has far outpaced capitals over the past year.

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Healthcare vacancies remain high

Shortages of health professionals are felt particularly acutely in regional and remote locations, where the range of service providers in an area may be limited.

More than 400 kilometres south of Mildura, Ballarat Health Services (BHS) is constantly working to fill vacancies, in everything from aged care to mental health services to the hospital emergency room.

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