We're often asked by our interstate investors what the main driver is of the Gold Coast economy - many people believe its tourism but actually the HEALTH industry is the Number One employer for Gold Coasters.
In 2015, the health industry succeeded the construction sector, employing 35,000 Gold Coast residents, compared to 34,800 in construction.
Employment in the health industry has grown by seven percent over the past three years compared to a fall of five percent for construction based employment.
Outside of these sectors big growth has been seen in professional services and education. Professional services employed 25,900 Gold Coasters up by 9,100 over the past three years. This is closely followed by the education industry that employs 22,800 locals, up by 5,400.
The growth sectors highlight the continuing shift to a more service based economy, as opposed to the traditional employment in manufacturing and production.
Today the highest employing industries are: Health, Construction, Retail, Accommodation and food services, Professional services and Education. These industries employ 60 percent of the local workforce.
This shift in the industry structure highlights the diversifying of the Gold Coast's economic base. The traditional narrow focus of construction and tourism has exacerbated the ups and downs of the city's fortunes.
The global financial crisis of 2008 exposed this vulnerability with the fall of the city's secondary financial sector, floundering business confidence and rising unemployment. However, strong economies find a way to adapt and evolve.
The city's fortunes are rising on the back of strong population growth as well as the demands of its residents. Today the local unemployment rate sits at a steady 5.8 percent, lower than state and national averages.
The challenge for the Gold Coast now is to continue to diversify the economy and build capacity across these growth sectors.
This way, we can hedge our bets against any future economic shocks.
|Eureka Comment: As a further testament to the changes in these demographics, over the 11 years we have been in business, we have only relocated one doctor - until 2016- 2018 when we relocated 8 and their families in a two year period. Unless you were in the market everyday, you wouldn't recognise this subtle shift but it just further demonstrates that the Gold Coast is now shaking off its somewhat 'shady' image to become a sort after destination to live and invest.|