A report ‘Sydney's Economic Geography: Trends and Drivers' - warns that a failure to address the inequality between the job-rich east and the poorer west could inhibit growth. The report, by SGS, was released at the NSW Government's forum for local government as part of development of the metropolitan plan for Sydney.
Rich pickings go west, but not enough to change the tale of two Sydneys
By Tim Dick
June 18, 2004
Sydney's west is increasing its share of well-paid jobs, but not at a pace fast enough to challenge the existing money pots of the eastern suburbs and North Shore, according to a new NSW Government report.
The report, Sydney's Economic Geography, warns that a failure to address the inequality between the job-rich east and the poorer west could inhibit growth, while middle-ring suburbs might need to brace for a softening in employment prospects. "Though there is a westward creep in the affluence and quality of jobs in the metropolitan area ... future prospects [do] not envisage any reversal of the 'two' Sydneys phenomenon," the report says. Having "two Sydneys" risks "increasingly unproductive fractures", by creating communities that are insular, increasing the time it takes to get to work and "increasing cycles of misfortune".
The report found that although the number of manufacturing jobs has increased in absolute terms, manufacturing's share of total employment has fallen from first to third, while retail, finance and property all increased their proportions.
The prominence of the financial sector prompted a warning that Sydney's increasing reliance on it could make continued growth vulnerable.
"While Sydney has been particularly strong in this area, it remains exposed to fluctuations in the global economy ... the movements of capital and from competition from other Asia-Pacific centres aspiring to global city status."
It expected the inner city and north-west would have the fastest employment growth and that outer suburbs would do well out of manufacturing, but middle-ring areas would "have a diminished share of employment in manufacturing, wholesale and transport and storage".
The report was released at the NSW Government's forum for local government as part of development of the metropolitan plan for Sydney.