How dining out helps economy

CAFES and restaurants are keeping the Border region thriving.

The trend of more businesses opening and employing more people goes against the national trend.

The 2014-15 State of the Regions report paints an extremely positive view of the worth of the sector to the local economy.

Report co-author Peter Hylands, from National Economics, said this came under what the report categorised as accommodation employment, or food services-related businesses.

The number of jobs in the sector on the NSW side of the border has increased from about 5400 positions in 1994 to 7366 this year.

“These are your coffee shops and restaurants, which is interesting because we haven’t seen that in many regions across Australia,” Mr Hylands said yesterday.

“It’s clearly an important employer and we think that it’s tourism and Murray River-related.”

But the number of retail jobs in the Murray Far West region covering Albury and much of the Farrer federal electorate, including Broken Hill, has gone backwards, against the national trend where it tends to be in the top-two employers.

Retail is much stronger in Hume region, which includes Wodonga, Wangaratta and Benalla.

“Manufacturing has also increased so it’s obviously servicing the local communities better,” Mr Hylands said.

“It’s more related to what’s going on in the local economy.”

Mr Hylands said the report revealed that the “knowledge economy” was likely to come to the fore in areas such as the Border region.

“The knowledge economy really works with agriculture and a whole lot of other industries,” he said.