In most of the cases, researchers focus on the metropolitan while studying the economic trend or development in Australia. While, ‘Regional development is an avowed aspiration of governments in Australia’ (Bellamy and Brown,2007). Although it is not so significant as some issues like health and education, the sum of the non-metropolitan makes a difference to the outlook of Australia as a whole. Besides, with the trend of decentralization, the imbalance between cities and rural areas and among each categories itself will cause series of troubles in the 21st Century (Keller,2011). Therefore, the research of income and employment pattern in rural areas contributes to finding sources of such imbalance and resolution of it.
It’s generally believed that education has a dominating impact on income and employment, however, other factors, such as industry structure which may directly decided by the allocation of nature resources , could play a more significant role. Higher degree of education is likely to result in higher income level, however, due to the rapid growth of highly educated population the labor market is become rather competitive (Lamb, 1998). Therefore, in order to remain employed, employees are forced to accept lower income. And this gap between demand and supply cannot be resolved in short term. Thus, to satisfy the need of the labor market is the gold rule to survive(Hillage and Pollard,1998). From another perspective, the non-metropolitan in the interior of Australia is relatively geographic independent from each other and ‘physical geographic independence’ lead to independence in relevant aspects(Anderson,2011). That is also a force of the economic structure in which main industry is decisive to the income and employment . In summary, education and industry are two main respects sociology usually emphasizes on.
Because of the geographic difference , not only the allocation of natural resources but main industries of non-metropolitan are different. Especially, in recent years, environment resources are regarded as ‘natural capital’ (Barbier,2002). In this study, three representative rural areas are selected to investigate how the main industry and education could influence the regional income and employment. And because Australia has a reputation for ‘exporter of mineral and energy product’, it’s reasonable to assume that those the income level in mining towns might be higher than others. Since the physical requirement for employees engaging in mining industry is above other industries, the demographic profile could be predicted with high percentage of young male adults. Moreover, considering the inconvenience of education in those suburbs, the educational impact on employment might be minimum in this case.
Method and Result
In order to acquire accurate result, three representative non-metropolitans are selected which are Newman in West Australia, Emerald (old) in Queensland and Swan Hill in Victoria with the postcodes of 6753, 4720 and 3585 respectively. These three areas are distributed in Western Australia, Eastern Australia and South-eastern Australia, and all within the interior of the continent. The original data is from ABS (2012) focusing on income, education, occupation and industry.
Percentage of adult who work full time
Median weekly income (personal )
Percentage University or tertiary education
Percentage of professionals in occupation
This table above illustrates the comparison among the 3 rural areas and those with the average of Australia in terms of the income, employment rate and education.
While focusing on the personal weekly income, median of Newman is approximately 3 times that