The Detailed Labour Force figures for April 2015 revealed more good news for the Sydney economy, with an extra +20,500 jobs added, taking annual employment growth for the harbour city to +44,200, second only to Melbourne with +66,900 jobs added.
Over the past two years, while Sydney (+76,200) and Melbourne (+61,700) have added jobs on a net basis, regional New South Wales (-4,200) has shed positions.
Is it any wonder then, that Australians in the Premier State continue to crowd the capital city?
Cumulative employment in the two largest capitals has continued to outstrip by far that of the combined regional centres.
The gap between the regional and capital city unemployment rate in New South Wales has become a gulf.
The latest figures show that Greater Sydney’s unemployment rate has declined to just 4.9 per cent.
On a smoothed rolling annual basis, the impact of the ongoing loss of mining jobs in certain New South Wales regions is abundantly clear.
Similarly, regional Queensland has seen a significant uplift in the number of employed since 2008, the total having all but doubled.
On the other hand, regional Victoria appears to be on the mend.
The other states
Greater Adelaide is not faring a great deal better, having seen a net 9,600 jobs lost over the last two years, driven by a punishing and enduring manufacturing recession.
State versus state – jobs growth and unemployment
Linking this all together, we can see that over the past two years Sydney and Melbourne account for half of the recorded employment growth, while the four largest capitals (i.e. including Brisbane and Perth) account for three quarters of it.
The comedy show that is the monthly employment rate series continues to amuse.
Regional Victoria is faring reasonably well, but both New South Wales and Queensland are suffering from elevated levels of regional unemployment.
Greater Adelaide continues to face significant unemployment issues.
Smoothing the capital city unemployment rates on a rolling annual basis shows how Greater Perth has gone from a position of effective full employment in 2008 at around 3 per cent, to what is rapidly approaching double that level.
We might expect to see Darwin on a similar trajectory in due course, although Darwin’s labour market is a curious one with a heavy emphasis on public sector roles as well as resources, and perhaps the Top End may continue to surprise.
Greater Sydney appears to be by far and away the best placed capital city economy based upon this data series.
A number of regions seem to be seriously struggling with elevated and rising unemployment rates, again driven by the end of the resources investment boom.