The following areas of Sydney have high rates of unemployment: Central West and Inner West (the rate of unemployment 9-13%); Gosford-Wyong and eastern part of South West part of Sydney (the rate of unemployment 7-9%); southern part of Gosford-Wyong, the part where Sydney Inner, Inner West, and George Sutherland are crossing; southern part of Sydney North West region and the part of Sydney Central West crossing Sydney North West (the rate of unemployment 5-7%). Almost all of the territory of North West region and Sydney South West are having low rate of unemployment of 4-5% if compared to the regions with the rate of unemployment higher than 5% (Randolph and Holloway, 2005). Sydney North and Sydney Central North parts together with the major part of George Sutherland have the lowest rate of unemployment of 2-4%. There is a spatial pattern of unemployment distribution: the more distant the region from the seashore, the less is the rate of unemployment. Interestingly, the regions with the highest and the lowest rates of unemployment take turns along the seaside (Urban Research Centre, 2008).
It is quite possible that low income and low level of education might share a similar spatial pattern to unemployment in Sydney. Low level of employment leads to low income while the lack of education may lead to unemployment (O’Connor, Stimson and Daly, 2001). This tendency can be traced by comparing Figure 1 and Figure 2 showing the distribution of the low income households and the distribution of unemployment areas in Sydney. According to Baum, O’Connor, and Stimson (2005), educated professionals are less prone to be subjected to the risk of unemployment. Also, high income household are located in extremely advantaged localities while low-income households are located in disadvantaged suburban localities or periphery (Baum, O’Connor, and Stimson, 2005).
At the present time Australia faces the consequences of the economic boom of 90’s. Australia is seized by the processes of globalization, investment in business and office park, the rise of part-time work, and expansion of services sector changing social landscapes of the country (O’Connor, Stimson and Daly, 2001). New rules accepted in business contributed to social and economic changes and influenced unemployment rate. Also, new business traditions influenced social geography meaning development of large cities and underdevelopment of suburban areas (Potter, Binns, Elliott and Smith, 2004). Hence, larger cities attract more human activities than other in Australian context. The larger a city, the more suppliers’ networks are there (O’Connor, Stimson and Daly, 2001).
Baum, O’Connor, and Stimson (2005) also addressed the issues of advantaged and disadvantaged localities that formed as response to the changing Australian economy. Advantaged places, such as large cities, experienced positive changes related labor market or were lest affected by negative changes while disadvantaged places, like suburbs, were severely affected by unemployment as it can be seen from the Figures 1 and 2 (Baum, O’Connor, and Stimson, 2005). Switching from industrial activities such as mining and resource-based industries to service industries conditioned the rise of unemployment rate in traditionally industrial regions (Figure 1-2).
The socio-economic landscape will likely be changed towards intensification of concentration of employment in larger cities (O’Connor, Stimson and Daly, 2001). On the contrary to Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth that are characterized by even division of advantages and disadvantage available for city and rural dwellers, Sydney has more uneven distribution of employment and unemployment areas (Baum, O’Connor, and Stimson, 2005). Edwards (2006) stated that the tendency to the part-time employment will become more entrenched. Also, the employment in service areas such as hairdressing saloons, restaurant business, and retailing business will rise. Besides, these services will be popular in large cities where income level higher providing higher demand for these services. Thus, the employment in these areas will increase. This tendency can be traced from the Figures 1-2 where low levels of unemployment can be observed in the industrial areas. This is the opposed tendency to those existed in the past two decades from 1991 to 2010 (O’Neil and McGuirk, 2002).
Another tendency will be entrenched: as a result of globalization and economic openness, such jobs as back-office stuff (accountants) and clerical positions (secretary, personal assistant) will be subject to competition in international level. The competition will be conditioned by competition from the side of international companies entering Australian market and posing competition in the form of imported goods. Also, the regions that can offer attractive locations for business activities will contribute to the rise of employment. The resource-based industries will likely record job losses or weak job growth (O’Connor, Stimson and Daly, 2001). Australian society would likely to generate more jobs related “symbolic analysis” in the areas of research and development, computer science, marketing, and industrial and product design. More attention will be paid to cost saving, reduction of transport costs, and labor costs. The tendency to the development of resource-based sectors will be replaced by the tendency to the development of linkages and contacts between companies and firms (O’Connor, Stimson and Daly, 2001).
Baum, S., O’Connor, K. and Stimson, R., 2005. Suburbs of advantage and disadvantage. Fault lines exposed: advantage and disadvantage across Australia’s settlement system. Melbourne: Monash University ePress.
Edwards, J., 2006. The quiet boom: how the long economic upswing is changing Australia and its place in the world. Sydney: Lowy Institute for International Policy.
O’Connor, K., Stimson, R. and Daly, M. 2001. Australia’s changing economic geography. Melbourne: Oxford University Press.
O’Neill, P. and McGuirk, P., 2002. Prosperity along Australia’s Eastern Seaboard: Sydney and the geopolitics of urban and economic change. Sydney: The Australian Geographer.
Potter, R.B., Binns, T., Elliott, J.A. and Smith, D., 2004. Globalisation, development and underdevelopment. Harlow: Pearsons.
Randolph, B. and Holloway, D., 2005. The suburbanisation of disadvantage in Sydney: new problems, new policies. Opolis, 1(1), pp.49-65.
Urban Research Centre, 2008. North West and West Central Sydney employment strategies [online] Available at: http://www.uws.edu.au/__data/assets/pdf_file/0004/57658/URC_Western_Sydney_Employment_Study.pdf [Accessed 2 September 2013]
Figure 1 Low Income Households in Sydney, 2006
Figure 2 Percentage Unemployment Rates in Sydney, 2006