Regional jobs lead

Newly released Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) labour force figures show an extra 5600 jobs were created in regional Victoria in December, with the regional unemployment sitting at 3 per cent, compared with the national regional average of 3.3 per cent.

More than 36,000 new jobs have been created in regional Victoria in the past 12 months, and the state’s overall employment levels are just shy of the record mark achieved late last year- more than 3.68 million jobs in total.

Treasurer Tim Pallas said job growth is strong across the state.

“It’s an important part of why communities in our cities, towns and rural areas are thriving,” he said.

“People want to live and work in Victoria, and businesses want to operate and grow here, and we’ll continue to create more job opportunities for Victorians.”

ABS figures show Victoria’s economy has grown by a cumulative 9.1 per cent over the past two years – ahead of NSW, Queensland, Western Australia and Tasmania.

Independent analysts have highlighted Victoria’s economic leadership and strong prospects, and CommSec ranks Victoria as the number one state for economic activity.