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ACT's neighbours defy growth in regional NSW

The area surrounding the ACT has defied employment growth trends across regional areas of NSW by recording a 0.8 per cent drop in jobs.

NSW Deputy Premier Andrew Stoner hailed strong growth in regional areas of NSW, where more than 39,000 people gained jobs since February 2012, according to the Regional Indicators Report issued on Wednesday.

“More than 60 per cent of the state’s employment growth in the past 12 months has come from outside greater Sydney which is great news for our regions,” Mr Stoner said.

Despite the positive results, the south eastern region, which includes Canberra’s neighbouring NSW local government areas, was the only region to record a drop in jobs.

According to a NSW Trade and Investment spokesperson, trend employment fell by 1000 people in the area, or 0.8 per cent, in the year to February 2013, while trend unemployment rose from 2.6 to 3.4 per cent – still the lowest unemployment rate across the NSW regions.

In the same period, the south eastern region also recorded one of the biggest population growths in the state’s regional areas.

The Palerang Council recorded a 3.1 per cent annual average population growth, Yass Valley a 2.5 per cent growth, and Queanbeyan a 1.7 per cent growth. These all exceeded Sydney’s 1.1 per cent annual average growth rate.