MERA Presentation 2010/01 :
Labour market anatomy and spatial micro-economies of the Auckland Region (2006)
This presentation was made to a seminar convened by the Auckland Regional Council and the Population Association of NZ on the 15 April 2010 at the Auckland Regional Council.
The point is made that we need to think beyond standard administrative and arbitrary boundaries in analysing understanding regional and local economic and social development processes.
A prime example is a classification of a country into functionally defined labour market areas. Many countries have adopted a functionally defined "labour market areas" framework for regional development policy and programme development.
Morrison (1999) recommended such a system for NZ - arging that it would be a more useful spatial framework than the then current 30 employment areas. Newell (2001) argued for such a spatial classification as a basis for analysing and understanding the linkages between labour market dynamics and migration.
Newell and Papps (2001) developed a first NZ labour market catchment classification using an adaptation of Coombes (1986) algorithm. The 2001 classification used 1991 census travel to work data. Subsequent work by Newell and Perry explored a 2001 census based classification. Newell (2009) extended this work to encompass Australia providing a common Australasian labour market spatial geography using census travel to work data from both the 2006 Australia and New Zealand census of population and dwellings.
This seminar introduces a labour market regional layer above the catchment layer and explores a subcatchment layer within an Auckland regional case study context.
Auckland is found to be made up of two metropolitan and urban labour marker catchments ("Central (West) and North Auckland" and "Greater Manukau") and two small island labour market catchments (Waikehe and Great Barrier Islands). These four LMCs are then grouped together to define a greater Auckland labour market region - which is similar to but slightly larger than that defined as the new "Auckland City".
Comparisons are made between Auckland's four labour market catchments and other Australasian LMCs on 2006 size and industry composition. Urban Auckland shares with Perth the feature of being split into two labour market catchments. "Central (West) and North Auckland" LMC is shown to be between slightly larger than either of the Perth LMCs and Adelaide in 2006 population size. The "Greater Auckland" labour market region is shown to be equally similar to the Melbourne and Greater Christchurch labour market regions on 2006 industry composition. The "Central (West) and North Auckland" LMC is shown to be most similar to Wellington and Sydney in industry composition. The "Greater Manukau" labour market catchment is shown to be most similar to Christchurch on industry composition. Waiheke LMC is shown to be most similar to the Kerikeri and Taupo LMCs in NZ and Byron in Australia on Industry composition.
The "employment hubs" of of "Greater Auckland" are defined using a "job ratio" indicator. This indicator is the ratio of the number of jobs in local workplaces over the number of local residents with a job. High values for any area unit identify an employment hub and low values identify primarily residential areas within an urban area. Ajoining areas defined as part of an employment hub are grouped into a consolidated employment hub. This analysis for example nicely delineates the "CBD" and employment dense hubs of Auckland City as currently defined and other parts of the current Auckland local government region (e.g. Takapuna, Albany etc. and many other hubs).
The surrounding residential areas commuting source areas associated employment hub are grouped to the employment hub for which travel to work commuting flows for any residential area are most important (as a share of jobs located at that workplace location). Each employment hubs and associated residential area defines a "sub-catchment". Greater Auckland is found to be made up of 30 labour market subcatchments.
This preliminary analysis is a starting point. It provides the groundwork for better understanding the functional elements that make up the new Auckland City by analysing similaries and differences in industry, migration, population composition etc.
It is possible to replicate this analysis for data in five year "slices" from 1981 to 2006 - and thus gain a better understanding of the historical growth dynamic of the Auckland region. This offers a window to discriminate the functional roles that the local micro-economy and community subcatchments have played in the recent and projected future growth of this region in an Australasian context.
Released in April 2010
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