ORANGE'S unemployment rate has been rising for the past year, but it's not due to a lack of jobs on offer.
According to the federal Department of Jobs and Small Business, the Orange local government area had 1256 people unemployed during the December 2018 quarter, compared to 845 in December 2017.
Then, the unemployment rate was 3.8 per cent, but rose during 2018 to 5.7 per cent.
By comparison, Bathurst's unemployment rate was 5.3 per cent, with both LGAs boasting workforces of about 22,000 people.
Dubbo's workforce was 27,000 strong, yet only had an unemployment rate of 2.4 per cent.
Councillor Tony Mileto, who also chairs Orange City Council's economic development committee, said a rise could be put down to drought and a mismatch between the types of jobs offered and residents' skills.
"There's 455 jobs advertised in Orange at the moment," he said.
"There's obviously a drought impact causing a flow-on effect for the community because of the reduction in consumption."
However, Cr Mileto said opening the hospital precinct up to life sciences industries could provide up to 5000 jobs in the next 10 years and a focus on tourism would help Orange ride out seasonal changes.
Last month, mayor Reg Kidd lambasted talk of retail demise, saying out-of-town businesses were still investing in the city.
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