Smiling older man answers questionnaire for young woman
Smiling older man answers questionnaire for young woman

Out of town applicants flood local job market

MORE than two thirds of job applicants in Coffs Harbour are from out of town according to data released by employment marketplace Seek.

While the figures may not surprise everyone given the proportion of the population who have moved to the region from outside already, the numbers indicate just how competitive the job market is for locals.

More than 71 per cent of people applying for jobs listed in the Coffs Harbour and North Coast region come from outside the region, with almost 20 per cent of those applications coming from Sydney – the highest proportion.

That was followed by 7.6 per cent from Melbourne and 6.7 per cent from Brisbane.

Four per cent were looking to make the move from the Newcastle, Maitland and Hunter Region, while 3.5 per cent of applicants were from overseas.

Seek also released figures which showed there was a 15 per cent increase in job ad volume from June to July. However they pointed out those figures had not been seasonally adjusted.

Regardless, it was much higher than NSW as a whole, which saw a 6.3 per cent increase, indicating the state was still on the slow road to recovery.

Across the nation that number reduced to 2.3 per cent, largely due to the dire situation in Victoria, whose population are a week into their second stage 3 lockdowns.

The improvements have done little to mask the devastating situation the tourism and hospitality sector is facing which suffered a 20 per cent drop across July, again in part to due to the performance of the sector in Victoria – down 49 per cent.

It is evident while there has been some recovery, tourism businesses are still struggling to recover from the huge losses at the beginning of the year.

Recent Australian Bureau of Statistics figures showed the sector had lost 21,900 jobs before the worst of the lockdowns had come into effect, the biggest fall since data on the sector began being collected in 2004

Shadow Tourism Minister Don Farrell said the figures were “just the tip of the iceberg” and called on the government to take a “serious look” at the industry and what support it needed to recover.

Coffs Harbour airport
Coffs Harbour airport

His colleague, Senator Tim Ayres, said the numbers confirmed what they already knew and tourism dependent areas such as the Coffs Coast had been hard hit.

He singled out Coffs Harbour Airport as one area the Federal Government needed to safeguard against any more losses.

“The Federal Government must intervene to ensure that the local tourism industry remains viable. That means safeguarding the tourism infrastructure that a recovery will depend on,” he said.

“With the loss of Tiger Air and route changes expected at Virgin, Coffs Harbour Airport must continue to be a gateway to the region’s tourism industry.

“There needs to be measures to protect CHA’s capacity, particularly its firefighting capability and air traffic control services.”

In June Air Services Australia confirmed there would be a temporary reduction in air traffic controllers at CHA due to the impact of the pandemic on traffic levels.