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Job growth brings huge boost to local economy

With its awe-inspiring scenery, quality of life attributes and world-class education facilities, it is no surprise Armidale, Guyra and surrounding villages are becoming top choices for tree changers. Now there is another drawcard for those looking to make a change and move to the New England. 

According to the latest data, the region has seen a rise in employment with more than 980 jobs (+6.8%) being added over the past five years.  Key areas of growth include health care, transport and logistics, construction and financial service sectors, which together have added 732 jobs.  Over the same period the population has become more highly skilled, adding more than 700 additional employees with a diploma or higher qualifications.

Full-time jobs within the transport, warehousing, financial services and construction sector have also risen, fuelled by a $320 million increase in gross regional product (GRP) in these key industries. Wholesale trade, telecommunications, manufacturing and education have also contributed a further $166 million to the regional economy over the past five years.

Employment growth has been further assisted by completion of the Armidale Secondary College. This state of the art education facility represents the largest investment in regional education in New South Wales to date, and along with the NSW TAFE Digital Headquarters and numerous other primary and secondary school offerings, cements Armidale’s reputation as a national leader in the education sector.  In addition to this, a rise in professional, scientific and technical services has been fuelled by growth in financial services, as well as relocation of the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.

This expansion of our major industries is having a positive effect on the region’s GRP per capita, which indicatively has grown by almost 8% over the period.

Housing prices in 2021 reflect the area’s desirability as a thriving tree-change choice, with Domain Real Estate reporting that 43% of properties sold in the Armidale region this year have been above the asking price.

Armidale Regional Council expects further improvements to the economy in coming years, with billions of dollars slated for investment in the renewable energy sector – among others.  Council is planning ahead for these and other investments via expanded offerings of light industrial land at the Armidale Airport Airside Business Park. These fully serviced, Business NBN enabled lots situated adjacent to the Armidale Regional Airport will host a number of businesses with high value-added potential for further jobs and GRP creation in the local economy.

One of the first sales is a multi-million dollar, state of the art service centre currently in the final planning stages. This sale, along with others, has generated further interest in surrounding lots which have high potential to make significant contributions toward employment and economic prosperity in the region. Currently 38% of the area of Stage 1 lots is under contract and it is exciting to see this interest and development applications lodged.

Council is pleased to see the positive growth our region is undergoing, and is looking forward to continuing to find ways to help boost our economy and increase opportunities.

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