The accommodation and food services sector in Northern NSW recorded 932 job loses between February and June 2020, according to the latest report.
The accommodation and food services sector in Northern NSW recorded 932 job loses between February and June 2020, according to the latest report.

Northern NSW jobs numbers bounce back in June

NORTHERN NSW saw a fall of 6.2 per cent in employment for June 2020, compared to pre-pandemic numbers.

The Tweed, Byron Bay, Ballina, Clarence Valley, Richmond Valley, Lismore and Kyogle council areas of Northern NSW supported 107,411 jobs back in February 2020, with an annual economic output of $32.5 billion for the region.

For June 2020, total employment is estimated at 100,712, a fall of 6.2 per cent, or 6,699 jobs.

The data comes from Australian company Remplan, in a report for Regional Development Australia Northern Rivers.

The greatest decrease in employment for June 2020 was in health care and social assistance, with more than 1,100 jobs disappearing from the local economy.

In percentage terms, the biggest decrease was recorded in rental, hiring and real estate services with a -0.13 per cent difference.

The report also updated the May data, originally estimating the job levels in the area at 91,940 to 100,187.

Job losses per sector:

1. Health care and social assistance: 1,333 (from 18,632 to 17,299 jobs)

2. Retail trade: 949 (from 13,455 to 12,506 jobs)

3. Accommodation and food services: 932 (from 10,320 to 9388 jobs)

The numbers are a positive turn of events within a tough economic environment, Business NSW Regional Manager for Northern Rivers, Jane Laverty said.

“It has been pleasing to see the June payroll data indicate a stabilising of employment losses,” she said.

“We’re positive but pragmatic in relation to the job numbers, knowing it is a month-by-month view and dependent upon health scenarios for us to see continued signs of improvement.”

The executive said the lifting of restrictions, with people being sensible in their distancing and good hygiene practice is what will maintain and generate jobs.

“Health is always the priority but we are also keeping the economy moving and this is maintaining business confidence at an important level right now,” she said.

“Feedback from businesses in relation to the restrictions indicates many have their Covid-Safe plans in place, and on the back of a what was dubbed ‘Christmas in July’ in terms of trading across our region’s town and villages, they are preparing for the next holidays starting at the end of next month.

“Businesses are hiring and, in our region, they are determined to stay open, trade and bounce forward of COVID-19.”


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