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Warrnambool employment rates best among regional Victorian cities

News Article Date: 
Tuesday, 5 January 2016

The Warrnambool City Council municipality has the lowest unemployment rate of any major regional Victorian city, according to data released by the Federal Government's Department of Employment.

Warrnambool’s unemployment rate is less than half of what it was one year ago, with 3.3 per cent unemployment in the September 2015 quarter markedly down from 6.9 per cent unemployment for the same period in 2014.

This compares to unemployment rates such as 8.3 per cent in Mildura and is less than half the rate of other major regional centres such as Shepparton, Bendigo, Geelong, Wodonga and Latrobe.

Warrnambool's unemployment rate for the September 2015 quarter also compares favourably against Victorian (6.3 per cent) and Australian (6.2 per cent) rates over the same period.

Warrnambool City Council Director City Growth Andrew Paton said that such low levels of unemployment should be a boost for business confidence in the city.

“Warrnambool had unemployment rates upwards of 10 per cent in the late ‘90s,” he said.

“This current unemployment rate of 3.3 per cent is probably the lowest reported in our city over the past 20 years.

“Quarter by quarter movements at local government area level can be subject to swings but the downward year on year trend is highly encouraging and reflects the positive business and construction activity occurring throughout the city.

“The value of building approvals in 2014/2015 were up by 39 per cent on the previous year with significant building projects such as the integrated cancer centre, the new CFA building, the Emmanuel Centre and the Warrnambool Airport upgrades all playing a part.”

“We are aware that there are still labour market challenges which need to be met, particularly youth unemployment rates, but this downward trend in overall unemployment speaks of increasing business confidence in the city which we hope will continue through 2016.”

Unemployment figures for the December 2015 quarter are expected to be released in March.

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