Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Mason, S & Howard, D 2011, 'Regional unemployment and regional industrial diversity in New South Wales statistical districts 1996 to 2006', Proceedings of the way forward, austerity or stimulus?: 13th annual conference of the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), Newcastle, NSW, 7-8 December, Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE), pp. 77-87.


This paper explores the link between regional industry diversity and unemployment outcomes within the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) New South Wales (NSW) statistical districts, using 1996, 2001 and 2006 Census of Population and Housing data. This paper found that while there had been a considerable improvement in unemployment outcomes from 1996 to 2006 in all NSW SDists and especially those coming off high unemployment levels, variation from region to region still occur. Moreover, industry diversity, as measured by the National Averages Index approach, and as suggested in much of the literature as improving unemployment outcomes was not always able to explain this variation. Indeed, from this research, there seems to be no clear advantage, in itself, for either industry diversification or industry specialisation as a regional strategy for improving labour market performance. Further research seeking associations between level of industry specialisation/diversification and additional labour market variables is needed.

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