Document Type

Conference publication

Publication details

Postprint of: Mason, S & Howard, D 2010, 'Regional industry diversity and its impact on regional unemployment', Proceedings of 12th Path to Full Employment/17th National Unemployment Conference, Newcastle, NSW, 2-3 December, Centre of Full Employment and Equity ((CofFEE), University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW.

Peer Reviewed



The national averages index and Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Census data (2001 and 2006) were used to explore links between industrial diversity and unemployment for ABS, statistical districts (SDist) of New South Wales (NSW). This study found that in 2001 and 2006 Port Macquarie was the most specialised economy and Tamworth the most diverse. Unemployment rates however, varied in terms of rank. In 2001, Coffs Harbour had the highest unemployment and Dubbo the lowest. In 2006, Lismore had the highest unemployment and Albury – Wodonga the lowest. The study found that the nexus between greater industrial diversity and lower unemployment, per the commonly held view in the literature, was somewhat supported. While all SDists in NSW experienced a decline in unemployment rates between 2001 and 2006, the SDists with greater diversity, appeared to have lower unemployment rates on average. Correlation analysis supports this conclusion, although caution should be exercised given a variety of factors influence unemployment outcomes.

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