A spike in employment for regional NSW will see more than 80,000 jobs projected by May 2022.

A spike in employment for regional NSW will see more than 80,000 jobs projected by May 2022.

Over the next five years, employment on the Mid North Coast will rise by 11%, followed by 8.6% in Illawarra, 8.2% in the Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven and 7.9% in the Far West and Orana.

The Department of Jobs and Small Business Australian Jobs 2018 Publication, ‘Projected Employment – 5 year change to May 2022’ revealed the regions with the biggest spikes in employment.

Regional cities predicted to boom on the employment front include:

  • Mid North Coast – Coffs Harbour, Forster, Taree and Port Macquarie

  • Illawarra – Wollongong, Shellharbour and Kiama

  • Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven – Bowral, Mittagong, Ulladulla and Shoalhaven

  • Far West and Orana – Dubbo, Bourke, Broken Hill and Cobar

  • Newcastle and Lake Macquarie – Toronto, Warners Bay and Newcastle.

The employment sectors with the biggest growth in jobs over the past five years include health care and social assistance, followed by construction, professional and technical services.

The study showed workers with Certificate III and Vocational Education and Training (VET) qualification are largely represented from the Hunter Valley, Mid North Coast and Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven.

There are large concentrations of people from Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Illawarra and Richmond Tweed regions with a Bachelor degree or higher tertiary qualification.  

In the younger demographic, 15 to 24 year-old workers account for a larger share of employment in Illawarra, Riverina, Newcastle and Lake Macquarie regions.

Whereas for people leading into retirement, there is a high percent of workers 55 years or older on the Mid North Coast, Richmond Tweed, Southern Highlands and Shoalhaven regions.