Orange City Council has welcomed new figures, pointing to jobs growth and less unemployment in Orange.

The latest figures released by the Department of Employment in December show that for the year ending 30 September 2016, Orange had reduced its unemployment rate from 7.0% to 4.5%.

Over that same period there was a reduction of 486 unemployed people and an increase of 1047 people in the labour force.

Orange City Council’s Employment & Economic Development Committee chair, Cr Jeff Whitton said he was delighted by the results.

“This is fantastic news coming on the back of what has been a couple of tough years with both Electrolux and Cadia downsizing,” Cr Jeff Whitton said. “If less people are are out of work and more people are optimistic enough the local economic outlook to be back in the labour force, that says good things about the health of the local economy.”

The new government-compiled statistics reveals that the Orange Local Government Area now has a labour force of more than 22,000 people of which just over 1,000 were unemployed.
According to the 2011 census, the industry with the greatest number of people employed was health care & social assistance with just under 20% of the jobs. The second biggest employer in the 2011 Census was retail trade with around 12% of the Orange jobs. The mining industry came in at eighth on the list of employment sectors.

“Our new hospital continues to attract more specialists. The aged care sector is growing steadily. We’re losing Myer, but we’re gaining a major re-vamp of local retail buildings.”
“In the meantime, the health service and other facilities are reinforcing themselves as the backbone of the local economy.”

“This gives hope to those staff at Myer who are facing redundancy. It shows that the economy is still growing and still employing”.

Mayor John Davis believes the new figures are a vote of confidence in the Orange economy.
“The rapid turnaround in the employment figures shows why people are investing in Orange,” Cr John Davis “In the wake of high-profile job losses there’s a risk of a drop in optimism. The same sort of shock to other regional locations usually takes multiple years to recover from”.
“That said, that unemployment rate of 4.5% shows room for improvement. We’re not going to rest on our laurels, and the need for more industrial land points to the council’s plans to build more capacity for the future.”