From the desk

13 June 2023 – A challenging regional jobs market

By CHD’s Agribusiness coordinator Noella Powell

A new report reinforces the value and importance of Finding Your Workforce, an event to be held next month for the Central Highlands agriculture industry.

In Regional Jobs 2022: The Big Challenge, the Regional Australia Institute gives its analysis of regional job vacancy data, which provides insights into the labour market challenges and opportunities.

Here are my two key takeaways:

1.  The regional job market is currently very competitive, more so in Queensland than any other State.  

The report shows in December 2022, vacancies in regional Australia were up 10% on December 2021 and were three times the rate of vacancies in metropolitan areas. Regional job vacancies in December 2022 were 97% higher than what they were five years ago, meaning the current staff shortages are greater than ever.

There were 81,000 jobs available in regional Australia in December 2022 and this increased to 93,000 vacancies by March 2023. Almost 24,000 of those December vacancies were in Queensland, which was more than any other state or territory and a 17.5% increase on the same time the previous year.


Central Queensland experienced our State’s largest increase in job vacancies, rising by 29% between December 2021 and December 2022. In the same period, vacancies also rose by 25% in Outback QLD, Toowoomba and Southwest QLD, indicating that a considerable proportion of Queensland is experiencing staff shortages.


2. Many regional areas across Australia are competing for the same skillsets. 


Of the 4,103 roles advertised in Queensland in December 2022, medical practitioners and nurses were the most in demand, followed closely by automotive and trades workers, then carers and aides.

Across all of regional Australia, medical practitioners and nurses were the most sought-after; carers and aides, and automotive and engineering trades workers also fell within the top 5.

What this means is that multiple regions across Australia are competing for the same ‘in demand’ workers.

This suggests employers who can highlight the opportunities provided not only by the role but also by the region may be able to set themselves apart from the competition.

Tap this image to download the full report:

The report’s findings are a timely reminder that having strong attraction and retention strategies for your agribusiness are more important than ever.

This is where Finding Your Workforce comes in. Join us at the Emerald Town Hall from 3:00pm on 11 July to get plenty of simple, solid and actionable tips, and have a chat to recruitment experts over some afternoon tea.

It’s free to attend but please shoot me an email to let me know you’ll be there.

Noella Powell
CHDC Agribusiness Coordinator
Contact: or (07) 4982 4386.