State of the Environment Report title
2 0 0 4

2004 Report



Queanbeyan

Economy

Indicator description

Results for this indicator are also available for  

What the results tell us for Queanbeyan

Note: Boundaries of Queanbeyan City Council Area were extended in February 2004 by some 120 square kilometres. Only limited economic analysis specific to Queanbeyan City Council Area as it existed prior to February 2004 and as at the 2001 Census can be included in this report. We expect the next report, for the period July 2004 to June 2008, to be able to include more up-to-date information from the 2006 Census on the new council area.

Queanbeyan City Council Area recorded an annual growth of 2.4% in its Gross Regional Product in the decade to 2001. The outlook for industry was good, particularly for retail and manufacturing. Retail was the major employer.

Households were benefiting from local employment and higher incomes from the late 1990s.

A strong economy persists in this area of high growth.

The reporting period covered the commencement of the Commonwealth's Goods and Services Tax (GST), but as only limited post-2001 data were available, effects can not be gauged in this report.

In the absence of figures for the exact reporting period and geographic boundaries, we have reported the economic pattern over the decade to 2001, the time of the latest Census figures and a midpoint in the reporting period. The focus is on local content and potential to the extent possible.

A growing economy

Gross Regional Product for Queanbeyan City Council Area rose from $455.8 million in 1991 to $575.7 million in 2001 (in 2001 dollars)—an annual increase of 2.4% (Regional Statistics, NIEIR, 2003). This was close to the highest growth rate in the Australian Capital Region. The median annual increase in Gross Regional Product for the local government areas in the Australian Capital Region was 1.7%.

Table 1 shows that since the mid-1990's, local enterprise has returned benefits directly to Queanbeyan householders by way of jobs and growth in real household incomes (see About the data).

Table 1. Household growth, Queanbeyan City Council Area, 1991 to 2001
Composite growth1991199619982001
Growth*-1.0%-0.1%1.6%1.4%

* 50% of per annum growth in real average household income + 50% of per annum growth in the proportion of population that are employed; Source: NIEIR (2003) YourPlace

The main industry output in 2001 was from manufacturing and business services (see Table 2). Of note, the contribution of unspecified (smaller) industries amalgamated under the term 'other' is almost twice that of the major specified industry. This shows the value of diversification of industry to the Queanbeyan community.

Table 2. Industry outputs, Queanbeyan City Council Area, 2001 $million
IndustryValue $million
Mining0.6
Agricultural3.3
Manufacturing204.7
Business services197.2
Tourism and hospitality services54
Retail87.3
Other output395.7
Government/Education150.8
Total1,093.6

Source: NIEIR, YourPlace (2003), Regional Statistics for Queanbeyan City Council Area Council

Building approvals show growth

Continued growth was reflected in the construction industry. In that regard, the greatest value to the shire in 2001–02 came from residential buildings, approvals for which totalled some $75.725 million (Table 3). Both the number and value of approvals for all types of building in 2001–02 had increased substantially over figures for 1991–92.

Table 3. Number and total value of building approvals by type for 1991 and 2001
Category1991–922001–02% Change
No. of new res buildings8211742.7%
No. of alts/adds to res buildings293727.6%
No. of new non-res buildings15400.0%
No. of alts/adds to non-res buildings32-33.3%
Total no. of buildings (res & non-res)11516140.0%
Total value of residential building $'000$7,916$17,538121.5%
Total value of non-res building $'000$555$1,127103.1%
Total value of building (res & non-res) $'000$8,471$18,665120.30%

Source: Australian Capital Region Development Council (2004:92)

Local employment

Queanbeyan's relationship with the ACT is highlighted by the employment figures. At the time of the Census in 2001, Queanbeyan City Council Area supported 9,108 people in employment (Table 4). Of the 32,451 people who actually lived in the Queanbeyan City local government area at the time, 15,280 were employed (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2003, Catalogue No. 2004.0). Neighbouring Canberra employs some 60% of Queanbeyan's working population in its public and private sectors. At the same time, Canberra provides 40% of Queanbeyan's work force (see Capital Region Development Board Investment Information).

Most local employment was in retail and manufacturing, followed by construction (Table 4). (Depending on which datasets are used, a very different story about employment in Queanbeyan City Council Area will emerge—see About the data.)

Table 4. Industry employment, Queanbeyan City Council Area as at Census 2001
Industry MalesFemalesPersons
Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing341852
Mining808
Manufacturing1,0842291,313
Electricity, Gas and Water Supply10653159
Construction813151964
Wholesale Trade342101443
Retail Trade8128601,672
Accommodation, Cafes and Restaurants150215365
Transport and Storage41870488
Communication Services10246148
Finance and Insurance3075105
Property and Business Services376302678
Government Administration and Defence286361647
Education129451580
Health and Community Services151657808
Cultural and Recreational Services13081211
Personal and Other Services201163364
Non-classifiable economic units431861
Not stated212142
Total5,2363,8729,108

Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics (2003) Catalogue No. 2006.0

Manufacturing in Queanbeyan includes 'a wide range of manufactured products from high tech local companies producing laser optics, printed circuit boards, "smart windows" etc to ladies fashions, commercial display systems and quality office furniture', as well as 'wheels, custom ladders, cleaning chemicals, woollen products, pet foods, plaster mouldings, water tanks, truck and tray bodies, security doors, saddlery and many more' (Capital Regional Development Board )

Investment opportunities are in high technology manufacturing, information technology/communications and government and business services.

Consistent with the types of industry and development in Queanbeyan and Queanbeyan's proximity to the ACT, only some 68.5% of the labour force was employed in the private sector in 2001 (Australian Bureau of Statistics (2003) Catalogue No. 2004.0 'Usual Residents Profile'). This is much lower than for most other local government areas in the Region.

The total number of people employed in the council area increased by 39% in the 20 years from 1981 to 2001 (Table 5). While numbers employed on a full-time basis grew by 48% in that time, the increase in the number of part-time employees of 175% is particularly striking.

Table 5. Employment, Queanbeyan City Council Area, 1981 to 2001
Employment category19811986199119962001
Persons employed full time (number)7,0759,4669,0649,22110,478
Persons employed part time (number)1,6172,0652,7223,5344,452
Employed persons (number)8,69311,53112,40013,03615,287

Source. NIEIR (2003), Population Profile for Queanbeyan City; Note: Data may not add up (see About the data)

The rate of annual growth in the ratio of employed persons to resident population was strongest between the years 1996 and 1998, but still positive at the time of the last Census (see Table 6).

In 2001 some 63 of every 100 working-age residents in Queanbeyan City Council Area were employed (Table 6). This was a decline over the 15 years from 1986, but nevertheless higher than the median for the Australian Capital Region of 56. Those not in the workforce include spouses, children, people on some sort of benefit or support such as unemployed, age pensioners, disability pensioners and people on independent incomes.

Numbers in employment in 2001 translate to 47% of the total usual resident population. The median for the Australian Capital Region was 41%.

Table 6. Rate of local employment, Queanbeyan City Council Area, 1991 to 2001
Category19861991199619982001
Percentage annual growth*-1.2%-0.4%0.6%0.4%
Ratio of employed persons to resident population0.670.630.620.620.63

* In ratio of employed persons to resident population; **Aged 18 to 65 years; Source: NIEIR (2003) YourPlace

See Council's website—The Queanbeyan Profile—About US— for more detail on jobs and employment.

Recent drop in unemployment

The unemployment rate in 2001 had improved relative to the higher rates of 1991 and 1996 (Table 7) and was below that experienced by many of the local government areas in the Australian Capital Region. By comparison, for Australia as a whole in 2001 the unemployment rate was 6.4% (Australian Bureau of Statistics Year Book Australia 2002).

Table 7. Unemployment in Queanbeyan City Council Area, 1981 to 2001
Unemployment Category19811986199119962001
Unemployment rate (%)96996
Unemployed persons (number)8086911,2061,227954

Source: NIEIR 2003 YourPlace

Income growing

Annual growth in average household income took an upswing in the late 1990s–early 2000s. Following a decline between 1986 and 1991, the average household income increased consistently to a high of $52,138 in 2001 (see Table 8). This was third highest and well above the $40,529 median for the government areas in the Australian Capital Region.

Table 8. Household income, Queanbeyan City Council Area, 1991 to 2001
Category19861991199619982001
Annual growth in average household income-0.8%0.3%2.7%2.5%
Average household income, 2001 dollars47,204 45,247 45,947 48,423 52,138

Source: NIEIR (2003) YourPlace, Population Profile

About the data

Table 5—Data may not add up because of the number of employed people who did not state full-time or part-time employment.

Gross regional product (the regional equivalent of the national measure of gross domestic product) does not necessarily have uniform impacts for households in the local government area as employees don't necessarily share in the increased value created by an industry.

A Household Growth indicator of the change in average household income and the change in the percentage of the population that is employed was used by National Economics—the National Institute of Economic and Industry Research— to obtain a more useful measure of economic growth at the local level. This indicator captures the incomes generated through equity participation at the local government level. Calculations are retrospective to the previous Census data; therefore, 1991 change relates back to 1986 figures. Further details are available from National Economics National Institute of Economic and Industry Research, 2003, YourPlace Indicators Technical Documentation, pp23–24.

Australian Bureau of Statistics Catalogue No. 2006.0, Working Population Profile, is based on place of employment, excludes overseas visitors and is applicable for Journey to Work Study Areas and aggregates of these. It shows how many people are employed in Queanbeyan local government area.

Australian Bureau of Statistics Catalogue No. 2004.0, Usual Residents Profile, is based on place of usual residence. It shows how many Queanbeyan local government area residents are employed.

References

Australian Bureau of Statistics (2003) Catalogue No. 2004.0, Usual Residents Profile

Australian Bureau of Statistics (2003) Catalogue No. 2006.0, Working Population Profile

Australian Bureau of Statistics (2002) Year Book Australia 2002, last updated 11 March 2003

Australian Capital Region Development Council (2004) Working On Our Future Together Canberra, ACT August pp70-72

Capital Region Development Board— last modified 19 August 2005

National Institute of Economic and Industry Research (2003) State of the Regions 2003—Your Place, Tables: 'Regional Statistics for Queanbeyan City Council Area Council', http://www.nieir.com.au/.