Coffs Coast Business

JobKeeper – what’s the score on the Coffs Coast?

This week the Federal Government announced changes to both JobKeeper and Jobseker that are due to kick-in at the beginning of October.

This got us at Coffs Coast Outlook wondering what the takeup of JobKeeper in particular was in our region.

Treasury defines Jobkeeper as “a payment is designed to help businesses affected by the Coronavirus to cover the costs of their employees’ wages, so that more employees can retain their job and continue to earn an income. The JobKeeper Payment is a temporary scheme open to businesses impacted by the Coronavirus.”

JobSeeker applicants line up outside Centrelink in Melbourne late last March.

Fortunately the data on local use of Jobkeeper can be found at Treasury’s web site. See;

This shows by postcode the number of applications lodged by businesses as last updated on 20 th June. It turns out that postcode 2450 has 1783 active users of JobKeeper and postcode 2452 has 381. This means that as at 20 June 2,164 businesses here were accessing Jobkeeper

Both postcodes are part of the Coffs Harbour City Council local government area (LGA). Council stated recently when rate notices were posted that Our LGA had 5750 active businesses.

This means 37.6% of local businesses were accessing jobkeeper. One in three.

What does this mean?

This means that our local economy is highly reliant on businesses that are highly susceptible to the legally mandated enforced changes Covid19 has brought upon us.

Sydney based consultants Taylor Fry have done an analysis of LGA’s around Australia to guage use of JobKeeper. They found;

  • The LGAs with the highest proportion of their businesses registered to receive the payment are in tourist and residential areas. The Byron LGA is the LGA with the highest proportion of its businesses (60%) registered to receive the payment.
  • In contrast, most capital city CBDs have about 30% of their businesses registered.
  • They also fond that 43.88% of businesses in Coffs Harbour and 35.42% of bellingen businesses were in industry sectors highly susceptible to major profitability difficulties while Covid19 is problematic.

Taylor Francis have developed a figure showing mix of businesses by industry compared to the national average. The two figures are republished below (the vertical black bars show the national averages for each industry);


Long story short? The sustainable depth of our economic base is shallow.

Sometimes it takes a ‘Black Swan’ event such as Covid19 to highlight these things.

The ongoing challenge, of course, is how to attain newer industries that employ more, pay more are potentially more resilient to shocks such as Covid19 and are willing to set up or locate here.

Over to you readers – feel free to proffer some thoughts and ideas in our comments box below.

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