Toowoomba makes top three for industrial diversity in nation

TOOWOOMBA is the third most industrially diverse region in Australia with a wide cross-section of employment providing a buffer between the boom or bust nature of areas relying on a single industry.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics review of industrial diversity placed Toowoomba at the top end of workplace variety, with health care and social assistance employing 8929 people - the most of any industry.

Retail trade (7366 people) and education (6639) are the next biggest employers, followed by manufacturing (5788) and construction (5148).

The relatively even spread of job types can be seen as a strength or a weakness, depending on perspective and circumstance.

Areas such as the Silicon Valley in the United States, with its intense concentration on technology, or financial clusters in London, New York and Tokyo, are able to share suppliers, knowledge and customers between companies to get an edge on their out of town competitors.

But it has its drawbacks, too.

Geelong's over-reliance on the automotive manufacturing industry was shown to be dangerous when major companies pulled out of Australia to pursue cheaper costs in Asia.

The region is now actively "shifting away from specialisation due to the risk associated with the reliance on one or two key industries", the ABS report stated.

"Exposure to economic downturns in key industries, while potentially detrimental to a specialised region, is less concerning in a region with greater industrial diversity."

The Darling Downs and Maranoa were at the bottom end of the scale, with a heavy reliance on the agricultural industry showing up in the data. -APN NEWSDESK


  • Health care and social assistance - employs 8929 people
  • Retail trade - 7366
  • Education and training - 6639
  • Manufacturing - 5788
  • Construction - 5148
  • Public administration and safety - 4344
  • Accommodation and food services - 3911
  • Transport, postal and warehousing - 2989
  • Professional, scientific and technical services - 2903
  • Other services - 2620
  • Wholesale trade - 2530
  • Agriculture, forestry and fishing - 2434
  • Financial and insurance services - 1917
  • Administrative and support services - 1534
  • Mining - 1033
  • Rental, hiring and real estate services - 866
  • Electricity, gas, water and waste services - 677
  • Information media and telecommunications - 668
  • Arts and recreation services - 604


  1. Moreton Bay South (QLD)
  2. Adelaide West (SA)
  3. Toowoomba (QLD)
  4. Brisbane South (QLD)
  5. Brisbane East (QLD)
  6. Adelaide South (SA)
  7. Geelong (VIC)
  8. Central Coast (NSW)
  9. Melbourne North East (VIC)
  10. Illawarra (NSW)


  1. Outback Western Australia (WA)
  2. Outback Queensland (QLD)
  3. Wheat Belt (WA)
  4. Darling Downs-Maranoa (QLD)
  5. Australian Capital Territory
  6. Mackay (QLD)
  7. North West (VIC)
  8. South-East South Australia (SA)
  9. South-East Tasmania (TAS)
  10. Warrnambool and South West (VIC)

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