One thousand, two hundred and thirteen regional jobs were loaded onto Geelong Careers in February 2021, almost double the 647 jobs from February last year, just as Covid began to impact, and a third more than 2019, a period completely pandemic unaffected. This dramatic growth continues a trend started in September last year, when numbers of jobs in the region began to increase in unprecedented numbers.
This growth reflect a series of social responses to Covid 19 as city dwellers recognise the real possibility of continuing to work from home , and for that home to be in a region where real estate, education and transportation costs are more affordable. CEO Real Estate Institute of Victoria Leah Calnan observes “…the fact that the majority of businesses can operate with people working remotely has created the big question, ‘Is this were I want to be, and if not where? The expectation we are seeing on the ground is instead of it being about work-life balance, it’s become life-work balance.” Lockdown prompts life reset. The Age 7/2/2021.
Geelong’s population growth was strong before Covid 19. In June 2019 Geelong was the fastest growing urban region in Australia.,
Incoming G21 CEO Guilia Baggio records ”Over five years the Geelong Region grew at 14.2%, outstripping Melbourne which, until the pandemic, was one of the fastest growing cities in the OECD. “ Surf Coast Times 25/2/2021. Since the pandemic 40,000 Melbourne residents moved to regional Victoria, including our G21 area. Guilia Baggio recognises the mixed blessing of this influx. “The downside hit home quickly when businesses struggled to find workers, especially in hospitality, in part because of a lack of available and affordable housing. A year on that sweet taste of regional living and working from home is only likely to intensify these trends.”
It is not just Geelong that is doing well. Nationally our GDP growth continues to surge with 3.1% quarter on quarter growth, well ahead of economic predications.
While we can only speculate on the ongoing impact these economic and social trends will have on our regional jobs market, the Geelong Career’s uniquely local focus continues to show brilliant growth in job numbers across the board, but particularly in our fastest growing sectors: IT, Advanced Manufacturing, Health, Government and Construction.
Hospitality and Retail are showing pleasing recovery from last year’s lockdown figures when shopping largely went on line, and travel was put on hold. Careers in health provided most February jobs, and showed a five fold increase over the same kinds of jobs in February 2020! Advanced manufacturing has experienced a similar surge.
Careers that build construction, government jobs, retail and hospitality are all strong performers last month, giving good indication of the health of our region’s recovery.