Red alert for Toormina jobs

A RED alert has been issued for a Coffs Coast suburb, after a new report has highlighted the areas most vulnerable to job losses due to the economic downturn.

The Employment Vulnerability Index (EVI) compiled by Griffith and Newcastle universities found that Toormina is a 'red alert suburb' that is most exposed to potential job losses and least placed to escape disadvantage associated with increasing unemployment.

Although Toormina was rated at 0.375 on the EVI, the suburb was marginally better off than regional counterparts Port Macquarie (0.651) and Lismore (0.500).

Griffith Urban Research Program spokesman, Associate Professor Scott Baum, said all communities will face potential job losses as a result of the economic crisis, but the EVI shows that many suburbs will be more affected than others.

“While job losses will be located in disadvantaged suburbs, other places which have been advantaged by the economic prosperity of recent years will also face increasing unemployment risk,” Prof. Baum said.

Latest figures for the Small Area Labour Market show the unemployment rate in Coffs Harbour rose to 7.2 per cent in September 2008, up from 6.7 in June.

University of Newcastle's Professor Bill Mitchell said the current economic crisis will bring 'a different kind of social and economic reality' to suburbs like Toormina.

“A real danger is that as unemployment strikes, many of these suburbs will become hot spots for home repossessions,” Prof. Mitchell said.

• ARE you a Toormina resident feeling the heat? Contact us at editorial@coffscoastadvocate.com.au



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