Predicting Short- Term Changes in Local Employment Markets

Dr Paul Darwen, Senior Lecturer,  Institute of Labour Market Studies, SRGI will be presenting at the Long Term Unemployment Conference in 2014.

Predicting Short-Term Changes in Local Employment Markets

Dr Paul Darwen
Dr Paul Darwen

This presentation uses a novel approach to predicting changes in the number of jobs in different industries in regional areas.  Taking as inputs the number of people employed in the 8 top-level ANZSCO occupation categories, and the 19 top level ANZSIC industry divisions, for all of the SA4 statistical regions of Australia (plus 12 more regions, 1 for each state capital city, and 1 for each state excluding the capital city) plus some macroeconomic variables such as currency exchange rates and commodity prices, and multiplying all variables against all to give thousands of interaction variables, customized supercomputer-based data mining software creates a model that can predict changes in job numbers 3 months into the future in each category of occupation and industry.

For unskilled jobs in regional areas, prediction accuracy is within 0.05 of the difference between the maximum historical increase and decrease.  This will make it possible to better plan training and up-skilling of long-term unemployed.  It will also better identify what adjacent regional areas have complimentary changes in employment, say if the number of unskilled jobs is likely to decrease in Townsville while it increases in nearby Cairns, it alerts job service providers to the possibility of where new jobs are being created outside their own local area.

About the presenter

Dr. Paul Darwen grew up on a mango farm in Bowen in north Queensland.  He did a B.Sc. in physics and applied mathematics at the Australian National University, a Ph.D. in computer science at the University of New South Wales, a 2-year postdoctoral fellowship at Brandeis University in Boston, Massachusetts, and a 3-year ARC postdoctoral fellowship at the University of Queensland in Brisbane.  He then worked at a biotechnology start-up company doing protein folding simulation, and another start-up company doing financial risk optimization, before joining the Brisbane campus of James Cook University when it was founded in 2006.  He also does research at the Institute of Labour Market Studies, a non-profit research organization in the Sarina Russo Global Initiative, which has close ties to Sarina Russo Job Access, an employment services provider that helps job-seekers in Queensland and Victoria.

Australian Long Term Unemployment Conference 2015 – Over 60 Presenters

Local Employment Markets and Labour Market Trends will be discussed at the Australian Long Term Unemployment Conference being held on 18-19 August 2014, QT Hotel Surfers Paradise Queensland.
The 2 day conference will feature keynote presentations, 4 streams and workshops on long term unemployment issues.  It will address the causes and programs needed to provide opportunities for at risk groups: Disability, Mature Age, Youth, Indigenous and Regional Unemployed.