ORANGE mayor John Davis says the recent release of employment statistics gathered by the 2011 census backs up Orange City Council’s plans of progression for the city, with more than 1700 jobs created since 2006.
The challenge now is making the growth sustainable.
Yesterday marked the second release of data from the 2011 Census of Population and Housing.
Data on education, employment and internal migration were made available, with some of the employment sectors in the Orange Local Government Area (LGA) revealing massive growth.
The health care and social assistance sector employs 2798 Orange people as the city’s largest industry, up from 2246 since the last census in 2006.
The retail (1959) trade remains the Orange LGA’s second biggest employer, while education and training (1503) is third, narrowly edging out manufacturing (1488).
Surprisingly, mining ranks eighth with 1109 employees.
However, that number is nearly double what it was in 2006, with 597 people employed by mining five years ago in Orange.
News of Orange’s rising employment figures was music to the ears of Cr Davis.
“Some of the challenges remain ensuring the proper infrastructure is in place, but certainly the numbers there do back up we are a progressing city,” he said.
“We’ve now, as a council, got to make sure it’s sustainable in the long term.
“Water, roads, amenities, sporting facilities for our young people, they’re all possible challenges but it’s a positive position to be in.”
Cr Davis said the scale of which the Orange Health Service operates was of no surprise to him.
“The number of people involved, that’s patients and practitioners, at the Bloomfield Mental Hospital upgrade and the new hospital complex is the biggest in the southern hemisphere in a country area,” Cr Davis enthused.
“I think the numbers will be substantially bigger in the next census, too, because the 2011 numbers were gathered before the hospital was fully operational.
“Mining, everyone agrees it’s very strong, but I also think those numbers will be bigger next time.”
Cr Davis nominated the mining and health sectors as the two biggest players in the city’s employment game, but said the likes of manufacturing, construction and retail, all boasting strong numbers out of the 2011 census, were important.
He said becoming complacent with the rises wouldn’t be an issue.
“Anyone who says Orange has got it easy is incorrect, but I’d still rather be living here than in Western Sydney or Adelaide,” he said.
“We have a better economy than a lot of other regional areas though.”