As Melbourne’s lockdown starts to ease the August regional employment data released on Thursday (when seen through the lens of the Conus Trend) clearly shows us the impact the restrictions have had when compared to the Rest of Victoria.
Trend employment in Greater Melbourne has fallen 163,000 since March, or a drop of 6.0%. Over the course of the past 12 months Trend employment in the capital is down 6.0%. In the Rest of Victoria Trend employment since March has fallen 25,500, or a drop of just 3.4%. Since August 2019 Trend employment in the Rest of Victoria is actually up 2,900, or 0.4%. The national employment decline since March has been 3.2%.
The young cohort have been particularly heavily hit. Trend employment in the 15-25 year old sector is down 11.9% since March in Greater Melbourne while the middle-aged have suffered just a 4.9% drop. In the Rest of Victoria the falls in these two cohorts are of a similar scale (11.0% and 4.8% respectively), where the big difference occurs is when we consider the 45+ years cohort. In Greater Melbourne this age group has lost 52,000 jobs (or 5.3%) since March while in the Rest of Victoria the older worker numbers are virtually unchanged (+300, or +0.1%).
Headline Trend unemployment rates are now 7.5% in Greater Melbourne (up from 5.4% in March) and 5.7% in the Rest of Victoria (up from 4.2% in March). While the effect on employment has been dramatic in both areas, the scale of the downturn in Greater Melbourne has clearly been far more extreme.
Within Greater Melbourne Trend unemployment rates are particularly high in the North-West (12.0%) and West (9.6%). In the Regions, Shepparton (8.7%) and Ballarat (7.3%) are the worst performers.
When we consider the employment per capita measure, we see this difference between the areas very clearly. While the downward move is clear in the Rest of Victoria, this measure remains well within the broad range it has occupied for the past 14 years. In Greater Melbourne, on the other hand, we are seeing levels well outside anything witnessed in that time.
The complete Conus Regional Employment Trend data for Victoria’s regions is available for download below. Please feel free to use this data but kindly acknowledge Conus when you do so.