Ipswich & rest of Western Corridor suffering disproportionately from Qld’s weak labour market

Ipswich and other parts of the Western Corridor are suffering disproportionately from Queensland’s weak labour market, according to the most recent estimates produced by the Department of Employment which combine Centrelink and ABS data (see map below, which can be seen more clearly if you right click on it and open it in another browser window). The Western Corridor includes some small areas with very high unemployment rates. For example, in June 2014, unemployment rates were 26.3% in Wacol, 23% in Riverview and 22.8% in Inala-Richlands. Commonwealth and State Governments should urgently review the factors underlying these high unemployment rates, and consider whether changes to housing, transport or welfare policies might be beneficial.

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2 Responses to Ipswich & rest of Western Corridor suffering disproportionately from Qld’s weak labour market

  1. Jim says:

    Gene

    You are right. Governments should review the factors driving these pockets of high unemployment. But where is the causality? Is it, I live in Ipswich or Logan and therefore can’t find a job? Or is it, I can’t find a job; therefore I choose to live in Ipswich or Logan?

    I suspect it may be the latter because housing is cheaper, there is good access to Brisbane using public transport (trains), the full suite of Government services are available locally (education, health etc.), and there is a relatively high number of unskilled job opportunities (when compared to the inner Brisbane).

    In other words, the clusters of high unemployment might be completely logical and based on entirely rational choices by individuals. If this is the case, the policy priority may not be housing, transport or welfare. It is probably social policy to mitigate the risks associated with higher clusters of unemployed.

    • Gene Tunny says:

      Jim, I think that’s part of the story but I’m unsure of its relative importance. A significant part of the unemployment problem would be young people who grow up in the area and are disadvantaged in the labour market whether because of inadequate education or a lack of information on employment opportunities because a lot of their family and friends are unemployed, too.

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