The Blue Mountains: where 95% of people are employed

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The Blue Mountains represents 0.17% of Australia’s workforce – a promising region for further economic contribution and workforce development.

The region, located at the western fringe of Sydney’s metropolitan area is a vibrant world heritage site with over 20,000 local jobs and a $2.45 billion Gross Regional Product (GRP).  The region represents nearly 2.5% of Greater Western Sydney’s GRP and 0.15% of Australia’s GRP – a hotspot for economic and employment opportunities.

In 2011, the region generated $1.9 billion into the economy – which has increased dramatically since.  The region’s commitment to economic development is led by the Blue Mountains Economic Enterprise (BMEE) – the peak regional economic development organisation for the Blue Mountains.

Economic Contribution

With a mission to stimulate economic development through advocacy, investment and job creation, the BMEE have created four pillars to achieve this goal including:

  1. Health and well being
  2. Creative industries
  3. Education
  4. World-heritage industry development (Tourism)

The council will meet regularly, with the sole focus of generating ideas and initiatives for economic growth and jobs creation across the Blue Mountains.  General Manager, Robert Greenwood, believes it’s an exciting time to be in the Blue Mountains,

“We need a holistic approach to expand local economic opportunities beyond the tourism sector, there are many ways to do that and I wish you, the board members, every success,” Mr Greenwood said.

Employment & Workforce Development

In 2011, 35,607 people living in Blue Mountains City were employed, of which 59% worked full time and 39% part time.  Overall, employment was better in the Blue Mountains than it was in Sydney – with 95.1% of the labour force employed in the Blue Mountains and 94.3% in Greater Sydney.

More recent figures show the Blue Mountains represents 2.68% of the 615,223 people working in Greater Western Sydney, 0.55% of the 2,996,038 people working in NSW and 0.17% of the 9,824,444 people working in Australia.

The three industry sectors which employ the majority of the Blue Mountains residents are:

  • Health care and social assistance
  • Education and training
  • Retail trade

In total these three sectors employed 13,725 people or 38.5% of the resident working population.  In comparison, Greater Sydney employed 10.9% in Health Care and Social Assistance; 7.6% in Education and Training; and 9.8% in Retail Trade.

Long Term Plans for Finance, Assets & Workforce

The Community Strategic Plan Sustainable Blue Mountains 2025 sets out objectives and strategies to realise the community’s long term aspirations and priorities.
The Resourcing Strategy provides an assessment of the level of resources – time, money, assets and people – required by the Council to carry out the tasks to turn the strategy’s vision into a reality.  In line with legislative requirements, the Council has developed a long term Resourcing Strategy that includes the following components:

  • Long Term Financial Plan
  • Workforce Management Strategy
  • Asset Management Strategy and Policy

The Blue Mountains is a great example of a region working together for the economy and attracting residents to the region with job opportunities.

If you would like to know more about workforce development strategies for your industry sector or region, please contact Wendy Perry via

August 2015


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