According to the Australian Bureaus of Statistics (ABS), employment in Australia has increased for the 17th consecutive month. It has also been reported that job vacancies have grown by nearly 18.7% in the year up to February. However, despite the healthy amount of jobs in the market, and more people in employment than ever before, the unemployment rate has still increased to 5.6 %.
This increase in the unemployment rate can be attributed to the growth in the labour force participation rate, which has led to an over supply of workers. Factors contributing to the rise in the labour force participation rate, include the influx of workers attracted to the generally strong employment conditions, as well as increased immigration into Australia.

Although job prospects on average tended to be high in Australia's metropolitan areas, more regional locations aren't faring as well. Regional Australia is experiencing significantly higher unemployment rates than the national average of 5.6%. Commsec's Economic Insights of 2017 highlights this, with the highest unemployment rates being experienced in, Outback Queensland (12.8%), Melbourne West (9.0%), Wide Bay (9.0), Grafton (8.7%), and Townsville (8.5%).

Unemployment rates tend to be higher in regional Australia, as their workers are often subject to more unstable work conditions, due to the limited job opportunities available and the seasonal/short-term nature of work in these more remote locations. This is because the type of work that tends to be most prominent in regional areas of Australia, include farm/agricultural work, mining and construction. Within these fields, there is less security and regional workers will have to have to bounce around from job to job, in order keep themselves in constant employment.

Also, since the work available in regional Australia tend to be more 'traditional' and revolve around manual labour or lower-skilled jobs, these positions are more vulnerable to being automated or taken over by our robot counterparts. With technology making a number of low-skilled jobs obsolete and skewing the workforce towards more high-skilled positions, this has highlighted a major skills gap between cities and regions, and caused much anxiety amongst regional workers.

However, it is not all doom and gloom for workers in regional areas. Despite job opportunities shrinking in traditional industries, other sectors have increased - namely the services industry (health, education, financial services and professional services). In regional communities, the services industry has grown by an average of 3.2% and currently employs 1 million workers in regional Australia. Services is expected to continue to be a strong source of employment.
The services sector has become more robust in regional locations around Australia, as the skills required by this industry are harder to replicate by machines. However, the growth of the services industry may alienate workers that belong to the more traditional industries, as they may not possess relevant skills, knowledge or experiences to take advantage of this trend.

The swell in large-scale renewable energy projects has also helped to boost the jobs available in regional communities. In 2017, more than 52 renewable projects had received funding, were already under construction or had been completed. This huge investment into delivering renewable energy will create thousands of jobs relating to the construction, operation and maintenance of the renewable energy projects. This will help to significantly enhance employment prospects for regional Australians and improve job stability, since there will be a steady stream of work in this field in the foreseeable future.

Finding A Job in Regional Areas

One of the keys to finding employment, more importantly constant employment, is knowing where to look.
Here are some avenues you can explore to find job opportunities in regional Australia:

Project Websites
To find regional work, sometimes you'll have to do a little bit of research. Doing a quick search of any major projects (e.g. construction, infrastructure, manufacturing) in the pipelines, or currently underway in your area, will reveal any potential jobs that are up for grabs.
For instance, on many project websites there is a dedicated jobs page that showcases the positions that are being offered. Applying directly to these listings may help to improve the visibility of your application. These listings tend to be advertised on this platform first, so if you're able to submit your  application quickly, then you may be able to cut through the crowd and land a role.

Labour Hire
Another avenue to explore is labour hire. Labour hire is a great way for you to tap into a wealth of jobs without having to run around yourself. This is because when you sign up with a labour hire agency, all your skills, qualifications and experiences are noted down, and if you match the description of the vacant position then a recruiter will approach you directly to offer you the role.

Labour hire is also especially beneficial for regional workers, as they often have a laundry list of clients with a variety of roles. This means that with a labour hire agency, you'll have access to more reliable and constant work, due to the volume of roles that lab0ur hire agencies are tasked with placing.

Do you live in regional Australia? Are you looking for work? Look no further than Workfast Labour Hire! Let us help you get connected with a workplace today. Call 1300 824 403 or sign up with Workfast Labour Hire here.