The latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), published January 24, 2017, shows an increase in regional employment of 16,400 people in Victoria for the December quarter – the highest increase in Australia. Victoria’s regional unemployment rate has dropped to 5 per cent in the December quarter, the lowest it has been since November 2014.

The unemployment rate dropped 0.8 points in the quarter, with the annual pace of total job creation in regional Victoria still leading the nation.

Across the quarter, there were 7,500 new jobs in the Latrobe-Gippsland region; Ballarat saw an increase of 7,700, and Warrnambool and South West 4,400.

The Hume region’s unemployment rate dropped from 6 per cent to 4.4 per cent, and Shepparton’s from 7.1 per cent to 5.7 per cent.

Across the 2016 year, Geelong’s employment increased by 7,800 people, Bendigo by 7,000 and North West by 6,300. Since November 2014, an extra 43,300 regional Victorians are now gainfully employed – including 9,400 on a full-time basis.

Victoria’s labour market is expected to remain robust, with recent trends in leading indicators of employment growth, indicating solid job growth is likely to continue.

Data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS)