Kimmaree Thompson
Kimmaree Thompson

Workers return more dollars to our economy than NSW average

IN earlier columns I've talked about the numbers that show high unemployment in our region, but a new series of research that Regional Development Australia is undertaking shows our region has exceptionally high productivity in many industries when compared to state and national figures.

It is encouraging to discover that each of our 9100 education and training workers in Northern Rivers flow back $78,000 each year into our local economy, compared to the national average of $75,670 (though still less than the state average of $82,814).

Across a range of industries, the numbers show that the value of the saleable product per employee is significantly higher than average.

Our 12,900 retail trade workers boost the local economy by $64,674 every year, compared to the state average of $58,697 and national return of $62,282.

Another of the stand-out numbers shows how amazingly competitive our local manufacturing is. Each of our 6538 manufacturing employees contributes $167,126 to our local economy, far surpassing the state and national averages of $135,674 and $118,609 respectively.

At the big end of town, although our numbers are below the average, these industries are still huge contributors to the local economy: the information, media and telecommunications workers flow back $214,920 each (compared to state $255,486 and national $232,875) and every financial and insurance services worker brings $319,987.

The local Regional Development Australia office is still at the first phase of our statistical research, which we are undertaking to inform the Regional Industry and Economic Plan, with consultations scheduled to start early in 2015.

There will be many more fascinating insights to come about the competitiveness of our local businesses, and we can build upon a best practice approach to make sure we keep doing more of the things that we do best.

* KIMMAREE THOMPSON is the CEO of Regional Development Australia (Northern Rivers), a non-profit organisation funded by Federal and State governments as a catalyst for regional growth and innovation.



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