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Regional employment trends : the challenge for strategic employment relations

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conference contribution
posted on 2017-12-06, 00:00 authored by Bruce AcuttBruce Acutt, Paul HylandPaul Hyland, Karen BeckerKaren Becker
Regional Australia has been exposed to the forces of globalisation and the impact on employment has been significant. In capital cities and larger metropolitan centres fluctuations and churn in the labour market may not lead to major shortages or downturns and often these fluctuations in employment trends are short-lived. In rural and regional areas, fluctuations can cause major disruptions and shortages can be long term as it is becoming increasingly difficult to attract and retain skilled workers to relatively isolated communities. The resulting change has forced a process of re-creation on business and this has impacted upon regional labour markets. It has been argued (Hyland, Mellor, & Stewart, 2002) that because of industrial relations reform driven by successive Federal governments, Australian workplaces have higher levels of flexibility in labour regulations and practices relative to other industrialised regions such as Europe and North America. This flexibility has resulted in changes to labour markets and in many cases skills shortages. This paper examines the labour market trends and skills shortages identified in a survey of regional and rural organisations in Queensland and the Northern Territory. An analysis of employment trends by organisational type is presented that examines three organisational categories and compares and contrasts recent employment trends for full time, part time, casual and contract workers. This analysis also compares trends between large and small enterprises and presents some findings on labour market shortages particularly in the professions, managerial positions and trades.


Category 1 - Australian Competitive Grants (this includes ARC, NHMRC)


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Yeppoon, Qld.


Faculty of Business and Law, Central Queensland University

Place of Publication

Rockhampton, Qld.

Peer Reviewed

  • Yes

Open Access

  • No

External Author Affiliations

Conference; Faculty of Business and Law;

Era Eligible

  • Yes

Name of Conference

International Employment Relations Association. Conference