The last 15-20 years have witnessed a number of acute changes in the Australian economy, sparked by three major trends; booming resource markets; economic structural change; and an increase in natural disasters – all of which produce shock waves through the labour market.
With smaller population sizes, narrow economies and industry bounded by geography, responding to changes in the local and broader economy has often seen people flocking to or from regional areas.
Clearly, each region will appeal to different people. Therefore, the ability of a region to retain and retract people will vary. Multiply these by a fast growing or quickly receding industry and it is easy to see the difficulties in matching labour supply and demand.
Ensuring each sector of the economy operates as efficiently and effectively as possible means having the right resources available at the right time, the right place and at the right price. It also means not just considering labour efficiency as a neat tradeable commodity but rather something that affects the outcomes of regions, communities and individuals across all of Australia.