This report examines aspects of demographic and labour force change in Western Victoria to try to gain a better understanding of trends affecting the labour market and possible future areas of employment.
The main focus is on rural, non-coastal areas and the report aims to present more up to date and detailed information for the Hamilton region than has previously been published (in for example Regional Matters: An Atlas of Regional Victoria 2001).
The study has drawn on a number of sources, in particular a review of the available contemporary literature on issues relating to rural and regional development, data available from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, the Victorian Government and reports from a variety of public and private sector sources.
It was commissioned by the Handbury Foundation and undertaken by Trevor Budge, Robin Goodman and Dave Mercer from the School of Social Science and Planning and Simone Alexander on secondment from the Australian Bureau of Statistics in 2004/05.
This report firstly considers the broad trends affecting rural and regional Victoria by looking at the global context and the economic and lifestyle changes which may impact on the study area. Secondly, the report provides a detailed analysis of available statistical data on population profile and labour market trends in the region. Finally, an attempt is made to summarise what both these broad trends and detailed statistics could mean for the future in terms of employment and prosperity in both the study area and in Western Victoria generally. We conclude with some considered views on possible ways forward.
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