Home » Victoria leads in regional job growth with lowest unemployment – The Moorabool News

Victoria leads in regional job growth with lowest unemployment – The Moorabool News

NEW data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics has revealed that employment in regional Victoria has risen throughout 2024, resulting in the lowest regional unemployment rate in Australia at 3.5 per cent.

February saw an additional 7300 people employed in regional Victoria; the highest growth in the country, pushing the total employment number to a record 821,800.

The data shows low regional unemployment rates, with Warrnambool and the South West at 1.8 per cent, Bendigo at 2.2 per cent, Geelong at 3.2 per cent, and Shepparton at just 1.4 per cent.

Corangamite federal member Libby Coker said some of the growth could be attributed to the local infrastructure projects the government had supported.

“These projects create jobs, but more than that, they create an environment that’s ripe for private investment, which in turn generates further employment opportunities for locals,” Ms Coker said.

The December quarter showed a 0.9 per cent rise in the Wage Price Index, leading to a 4.2 per cent increase in wages over the year.

This period also marks the first instance since 2018 of three consecutive quarters of real wage growth.

“The Albanese Government’s reform agenda has seen real wages grow across the last three quarters whilst inflation is moderating,” Mr Coker said. “This is good news for families, workers, and everyone across our region.”

As a result of the government’s reform agenda, Ms Coker said people on minimum wage in Australia are now earning $110 a week more than they were earning when they came into government.

“Soon those same workers will get a tax cut of $827,” she said.

“For those workers, like for all Australians under the Albanese Labor government, we’re making sure that they’ll earn more, keep more of what they earn and continue to have more opportunities to access secure employment.”

Victoria’s economy has outpaced those of NSW, Queensland, Western Australia, and Tasmania, experiencing a 9.1 per cent growth over the past two years.

Deloitte Access Economics forecasts Victoria’s gross state product to grow by 2.5 per cent in 2023-24, the highest rate in Australia, with an expected average annual growth rate of 2.3 per cent over the next five years.

Victorian treasurer Tim Pallas welcomed the findings.

“Continuing growth in regional employment is more proof that by investing in regional communities we’re helping to create jobs and keep our economy growing,” he said.

“We’re focused on creating jobs that enable regional communities to grow and thrive.”

Corangamite federal member Libby Coker said some of the growth could be attributed to the local infrastructure projects the government had supported. Photo: SUPPLIED