News National Australia’s jobless hotspots: where does your suburb rank?

Australia’s jobless hotspots: where does your suburb rank?

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Unemployment rates in some Australian suburbs are as high as 32 per cent, five times the national figure, creating pockets of disadvantage and leaving local councils scrambling to create jobs.

Both inner-city suburbs and remote towns feature in the top-10 areas grappling with high unemployment rates, with mayors saying they are struggling to provide jobs amid a decline in manufacturing.

Unemployment figures have skyrocketed in some suburbs in the past year, with Melbourne’s Broadmeadows and Brisbane’s Wacol both experiencing an almost 40 per cent jump in unemployment in 12 months.

• Find out the jobless rate in your area. Read the full report here

Broadmeadows in Melbourne’s north-west has an unemployment figure of 26 per cent, and has been rocked by the steady closure of local manufacturing since the global financial crisis in 2008, including more factory closures in the past year.

The current national unemployment figure is 6.1 per cent.

• Click on the owl to see the worst 10 suburbs for employment in Australia  

A source at the local Hume City Council said long-term disadvantage and the closure of the local Ford plant were to blame for unemployment in the area.

“The impact of the pending closure at the Ford plant in Broadmeadows, and the flow-on it has had on other supporting manufacturing industries has also played a part,” they said.

Unemployment rate map
Average unemployment rates across Australia.

Tasmania’s Brighton Council Mayor Tony Foster says high unemployment has been a problem in the Ravenswood area for generations.

His local government area currently endures a jobless rate of 23 per cent.

“The main thing that is going to turn this around is education but we can’t get kids to go to school any further than Year 7. There’s no thought of them even going to Year 11 or 12,” Cr Foster says.

“It’s a difficult area because there are few places like it in Tasmania. Other parts of the community are really vibrant and have high employment,” he laments.

The highest unemployment figure in Australia belongs to the indigenous community of Palm Island off the coast of Cairns, with unemployment at 49.8 per cent.

Ford factory closure Broadmeadows
The production line at the Ford plant in Broadmeadows. Photo: AAP

Other remote towns such as Halls Creek in the Kimberley and APY Lands in South Australia both face unemployment rates of 42 per cent and 38 per cent, but languishing city suburbs aren’t far behind.

The new data shows suburban areas are not immune from staggering unemployment, as suburbs in Launceston, Melbourne, Brisbane and Adelaide also face some of the highest unemployment rates in the country.

The suburb of Elizabeth in Adelaide has the highest inner-city jobless rate in Australia with 32.4 per cent of locals unemployed.

City of Playford mayor Glenn Docherty warns this will only be made worse by the closure of the local Holden plant.

“We’re trying to get unemployment down across the city but from our point of view we have challenges with Holden closing in 2017,” says Cr Docherty, who is hoping horticulture can lift the area out of unemployment.

“We’re working with local food growers and training providers to secure work in a variety of entry level jobs in the expanding horticultural industry.”

Top five worst suburbs for employment state-by-state


Palm Island – 49.8 per cent

Aurukun – 32.1 per cent

Wacol – 26.3 per cent

Riverview – 23 per cent

Inala – 22.8 per cent


Lethbridge Park, Tregear – 23.2 per cent

Bidwill, Hebersham, Emerton – 22.8 per cent

Ashcroft, Busby, Miller – 21.7 per cent

Walgett – 15.4 per cent

Brewarrina – 14.6 per cent


Broadmeadows – 26.4 per cent

Campbellfield, Coolaroo – 22.9 per cent

Meadow Heights – 22.9 per cent

Dandenong – 20.8 per cent

Doveton – 19.5 per cent


Bridgewater – Gagebrook – 26.4 per cent

Ravenswood – 23.7 per cent

Rokeby – 16 per cent

Risdon Vale – 15.3 per cent

Invermay – 15.0 per cent


APY Lands – 38.8 per cent

Elizabeth – 32.4 per cent

Smithfield – Elizabeth North – 23.6 per cent

Davoren Park – 19.6 per cent

Christie Downs – 19.4 per cent


Halls Creek – 42.7 per cent

Roebuck – 31.1 per cent

Derby – West Kimberley – 20.7 per cent

Mandurah – 15.8 per cent

Balga – Mirrabooka – 15.3 per cent


Yuendumu Anmatjere – 23.7 per cent

Sandover – Plenty – 22.5 per cent

Thamarrurr – 21.6 per cent

Anindilyakwa – 16.1 per cent

Tanami – 15.7 per cent


ACT East – 15 per cent

Reid – 12.1 per cent

Florey – 6.9 per cent

Holt – 6.7 per cent

Belconnen – 6.2 per cent

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