ILWS - Charles Sturt University
ILWS - Charles Sturt University

Regional labour market  analysis, (2010 –ongoing)

Strategic Research Area

Sustainable Business Development in Regional Australia



Investigators/ Researchers

Prof John Hicks, ILWS (project leader) A/Prof PK Basu, ILWS &  Christopher Sherley


This on-going project is indicating that regional labour markets behave differently to metropolitan labor markets and that these differences call for labour market policies  that are place specific if adverse labour market outcomes in regional areas are to be reversed. The project builds on a project delivered at SEGRA 2010 and adopts the regional classifications (suggested by ABARE) to test the Krugman core-periphery model using Census data from 2001 and 2006. Measures of industry specialisation will be calculated for each region (over 50 industries) to determine whether or not industry specialisation has increased or decreased over this period; whether changes in industry specialisation have resulted from within-sector changes or between-sector changes and whether the changes with respect to men and women have differed.

Utilising the calculated indices of specialisation econometric analysis will be undertaken to try and determine the impact, if any, that drought has had on changing industry specialisation and, in turn, any impact that changes in industry specialisation has had on labour market outcomes across the regions in terms of, possibly, employment, unemployment, and labour force participation.


Hicks, J., Basu, P.K. & Sherley, C. (2014) The Impact of Employment Specialisation on Regional Labour Market Outcomes in Australia,  Australian Bulletin of Labour, 40(1), pp.68-90. 

Hicks, J., Basu, P.K. & Sherley, C. (2012) 'The impact of changing industrial specialisation on regions in Australia'. Paper presented to the 52nd European Congress of the Regional Science Association International, University of Economics in Bratislava, Bratislava, Slovak Republic, 21-25 August.

Mallik, G. Basu, P.K., and Sappey, R (2013) . 'Do the determinants of employability and earnings returns produce similar outcomes in metropolitan and regional labour markets?: The case of NSW in Australia' Regional Studies. With Girijasankar (ERA A* 1205/1604/2103, 2010 Final.) Published online at: :

Hicks, J, Basu,P.K., Conroy, D & Sappey,R. (2012) 'Implementing policy for place: Delegating labour market policy decisions to the local level', in Kuvvet Lordoglu, Derya Keskin Demirer and Ismail Siriner (eds) Labour Markets and Employment, IJOPEC Publication, London and Istanbul.


To encourage government labour market policy to focus on policy for place in order to assist regional areas to resolve labour market problems that do adequately respond to economy-wide policies.

Professor John Hicks
Charles Sturt University – Bathurst

January 2016