The number of jobs on the Northern Rivers is increasing.
The number of jobs on the Northern Rivers is increasing. Photo: File

Believe it or not, our region is a good place to get a job

LISMORE is the sixth largest job centre in NSW outside Sydney, Ballina is the 23rd and believe it or not Byron Bay is in the top 50 largest jobs centres coming in at number 46.

In 2016 there were 14,600 jobs and it's adding 700 jobs every five years for Lismore.

Leading demographer Bernard Salt said about 120 jobs are being added to Lismore every year.

Ballina had 9000 jobs in it's CBD and its adding 800 jobs every five years.

"There's actually more job growth in Ballina than there is in Lismore,” Mr Salt revealed.

"Lismore seems to have reached a glass ceiling in terms of population and job growth and all of the jobs growth and population is happening outside and they might be commuting backwards and forwards.

"Ballina seems to be growing more strongly.”

Tweed Heads had 7000 jobs, growing by 1400 every five years.

Byron Bay had 6300 jobs up by 900 in five years from 2011.

Mr Salt said this was a "very strong figure”.

He said it meant there was strong job growth on the coast.

"There are 589 net new businesses added in the Northern Rivers last financial year.

"That's up 3 per cent on the previous year. That's exactly the same as the Australian average and it's a little bit better than the non-metropolitan Australian average.

"For the first time in 20 years, your unemployment rate is lower than the Australian average. This should be good times. It's unusual, especially when you compare it to the year 2000.”

There are 226 jobs in construction, which saw a 12 per cent growth.

Mr Salt said numbers revealed an "entrepreneurial community” focused on building.

During that time 83 businesses popped up in health care.

Professional service such as lawyers came before manufacturing and transport which Mr Salt said was an interesting finding because transport in many other areas, was number one.

Only 43 people last financial year set up a business in transport, postal and warehousing.

"Effectively you've got 43 people who set up Uber driving, in other areas that is much higher,” Mr Salt said.

He said there was more substantive small business activity in the region.

"The vast majority of net new businesses added in this area is a one man band,” Mr Salt said.

Last financial year, 589 net new businesses were added to the Northern Rivers, and 410 of them were sole traders.

The biggest growth in sole-trader businesses were set up in Bangalow, with 79 new businesses in the last FY.