Newcastle has become the hardest place in Australia to find work

NEWCASTLE is officially the worst place in Australia when it comes to finding a job, according to the latest job vacancy figures.

Sydney is the easiest Australian city in which to find work, with just 2.8 job seekers per vacancy. Newcastle job seekers have a harder slog, with an average of 15.2 people vying for each position, according to the June report from job search engine Adzuna.

Newcastle’s job seeker to vacancy ratio was up three points on the previous year, due mainly to the declining energy sector and a drop in the price of coal, Adzuna said. Sydney’s result was bolstered by continued growth in construction, financial services and retail.

The disparity between state capitals and smaller cities was evident, with the top five places for ease of employment being Sydney, Canberra, Darwin, Melbourne and Brisbane.

Adzuna Australia chief executive Raife Watson said there was a drop in the number of job seekers per vacancy Australia-wide, though this was not worth celebrating.

“The slight decrease in number of job seekers per vacancy nationally compared to last year is not an indicator the economy is improving,” he said.

“We are currently experiencing our lowest levels of wage growth in 18 years.”

“Australia’s regional centres are struggling to transition from an energy and manufacturing based economy.

“The situation in Newcastle has worsened over the past 12 months with coal prices dropping 10 per cent.”

He said this resulted in the once-thriving energy industry cutting further jobs.

The disparity between Sydney’s economic growth and the rest of Australia was a growing concern, he said.