Where are all the jobs?

Keenan Jackson

Keenan is an economic development specialist who has worked extensively analysing and developing economic programs, strategies and policies in the public sector. Keenan works with our local government clients to help them explore and understand how their regions are changing over time to help them make better decisions and create evidence-based strategies related to local economic development. Keenan enjoys running, travelling and is soon to be a father, eagerly awaiting the challenges and delights it brings.

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4 Responses

  1. Nicholas Wood says:

    No one lives in Weddell NT. That is where the $34 Billion Impex Gas plant is located, or more specifically its located next door at Bladin Point. You’ll find that a lot of that growth has created an explosion for population in the Litchfield Council, with the concentration around the suburb of Coolalinga. You’ll also find the Independent local member for the NT seat of Nelson is fiercly opposed to the changes from turning the area from rural into suburban and keeps getting voted back in on that platform, but the NT Politicians do love development as it creates jobs and they’ll ignore the local NIMBY concerns of people in Litchfield in order to create more urban sprawl.

    As for Weddell, it was originally canvassed as a new greenfield project for suburban development, but with the Impex jobs slowing down, that has been relegated back for another decade, plus politics plays in as well.

    • Keenan Jackson says:

      Hi Nicholas,
      Thanks for the comment. I was aware that’s where the Inpex Ichthys LNG Project is. The SA2 Weddell includes Bladin Point. Always interesting to here the local politics at play in places and it will be good to explore what happens to the economy once the plant transitions into production phase. They already started shedding jobs last year and I assume this will continue.

  2. Mark Weblin says:

    Hi Keenan,

    I read your blog with interest as I’m setting up a web site ‘Moving to the Gold Coast’ which will provide population and other data about the various suburbs and regions of the Gold Coast for people interested in moving to the Gold Coast. I don’t have training in statistics but I do have a PhD in philosophy and I worked for the Commonwealth Employment Service back in the 80’s where I developed a good understanding of census and other data concerning occupation and industry of employment.

    I follow the general line of your argument – caution must be exercised when comparing data etc – and I was interested to see if the Gold Coast would figure in your blog and this is where I got a little confused. The only Gold Coast suburb mentioned in Ormeau-Yatala to which you attribute a 29% (4,096) increase in 2016 from 2011 levels. From the research I had already done, this struck me as a little odd. Ormeau-Yatala in part of what I call ‘The Northern Corridor’ of the Gold Coast, linking as it does, the old Gold Coast city with Greater Brisbane. This area is one of the big growth areas of Queensland and Australia, converting old agricultural land into new urban sub-divisions. My estimate of the population growth of this area (Ormeau-Yatala, Upper Coomera-Willow Vale, Coomera, Pimpana, and Jacobs Well) is 45% (55,200-80,300) The largest suburb of these is Upper Coomera with a 2016 population of 31,200 (up from 24,000 in 2011) making it the second largest suburb on the Gold Coast and only marginally less than Southport, the traditional population centre of the Gold Coast. I expect Upper Coomera will pass Southport in a year or two.

    But this is all about raw population growth. What puzzled me about you blog was that intuitively, you would expect Upper Coomera to have more labour force growth than Ormeau (which only has a 2016 population of 20,000). So when I looked at labour force figures for Upper Coomera there was an increase from 11,116 to 14,871, an increase of 3,700. Further when I checked the Ormeau figures, the increase was only from 7,800 to 9,500, which is nowhere near your quoted figures of a 4,096 increase 2011-2016. I wondered if I had misread the SA2 figures so I went back to the ABS website and confirmed that the id.com employment figures were correct.

    I’m guessing that there is something else going on here but if there is it would be useful for me to know what it is before I start preparing labour force figures for my site. So far I have only compiled population profile figures – five year profiles, service age groups, etc.


    Mark Weblin

    • Keenan Jackson says:

      Hi Mark, thanks for your response and interest.
      I think you may have mistakenly compared labour force figures to jobs change. My blog was about jobs/local workforce in a particular location (where people work), not the resident workforce (where working people live). You are right in suggesting Upper Coomera-Willow Vale would have a higher resident work force (slightly different to labour force which includes number of unemployed) as its population is greater. However, in terms of actual jobs generated, Ormeau-Yatala SA2 has over 3 times the amount of jobs found in Upper Coomera-Willow Vale. Most of these are within the industrial estates in Yatala and Stapylton which continue to expand and attain new tenants. You can see jobs/local workers mapped by location on the Gold Coast here http://economy.id.com.au/gold-coast/employment-locations
      Hope this clarifies the difference. Thanks, K.

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