Richmond-Tweed region lags behind on job rate

NSW was responsible for creating 65% of Australia's new regional jobs last year, but the Richmond-Tweed region still fell behind.

New Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show the region had an unemployment rate of 8.2% in November.

It was an improvement on the 14% jobless rate at the same time in 2014 when unemployment hit a 14-year peak, but still well behind NSW's 4.9% rate and the national average of 5.5%.

Residents of the region were almost twice as likely to be unemployed in November as their neighbours in Coffs-Clarence, which had a 4.2% unemployment rate.

Richmond-Tweed also bucked the national trend of men being less likely to be unemployed than women, with the local male unemployment rate 4.2% higher than for females.

The region recorded a 10.3% average unemployment rate for the year to November 2015.

The figures should be taken with a grain of salt.

Roy Morgan researchers looking at December's jobless rate put the national figure at 9.7%, which was 3.9% higher than the ABS data.

No regional data has yet been made available for December, but the Roy Morgan researchers say the problem runs even deeper.

The study found a record 2.69 million Australians were either unemployed or under-employed - up 42,000 since December 2014 to make up 20.7% of the workforce.

"Of concern is the record 1.43 million Australians under-employed - working part-time and looking for more hours or a full-time job," the study found.

Still, the State Government is spruiking the latest ABS figures as a win for the regional NSW and further evidence of growing business confidence.

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