Ups and downs: Bellingen is growing but the labour force isn’t.
Ups and downs: Bellingen is growing but the labour force isn’t.

Job figures at odds in Bellingen

LESS employed people alongside a fall in unemployment is, at first glance, an apparent anomaly in the 2010 economic profile released for Bellingen Shire this week.

According to mayor Mark Troy, the explanation is simple.

“It seems those formerly unemployed people have moved to other regions,” Cr Troy said.

“I am also aware of employed people for example who have relocated to Queensland and West Australia attracted by the resources boom. People can earn double the money interstate.”

The shire’s labour force fell by 4.2 per cent with unemployment falling by 1.9 per cent (down to 6.7 per cent).

The loss of workers from the area is in line with labour force figures released by the Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations, which show an overall drop in employees between Coffs and Kempsey.

One area of growth, however, is the annual population up by 1.2 per cent for the fifth consecutive year. There was also a substantial increase in non-residential building approvals (up to $11.8 million), assisted by the Raleigh Aged-Care project.

A massive 22.7 per cent increase in the median sale price of dwellings is, in the opinion of chamber of commerce president Guy Saddleton, a slightly ‘skewed’ figure.

“You do get spikes over small periods of time but over the longer period the market has been stable, about 10 per cent per annum over the last 10 years,” he said.



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