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2022 Economic Pressure Points Posted on December 8, 2021

economy

At a recent economic breakfast hosted by Business NSW, we heard from some of Australia’s key economic analysists about what’s in store for jobs and the cost of living here on the Central Coast.

Cost of living

Tapas Strickland, Senior Economist for the National Australia Bank (NAB) predicts that the Reserve Bank will raise interest rates 7 times in next 3 years from the current rate 0.10% to between 1.75% to 2.00% by 2024. This should help to stabilise the property market in 2022 and 2023 after an incredible 23% increase in dwellings prices across NSW. Many borrowers are looking to capitalise on the current low interest rates by fixing their loans. In fact, 50% of all borrowings are on fixed rates.

Wages growth has been modest nationally at 2.1% – 2.4% but household and businesses savings have increased significantly to around 11% of income. These savings will come in handy to cover rising costs in consumer goods and shipping costs.

Jobs

Geoff Lee MP talked about the many Federal jobs initiatives to try to support skills both locally and nationally. He said we are experiencing a broad skills shortage in Construction, Health, Hospitality and Tourism and roughly 25 out of 100 people leave the LGA for work everyday. This still feels a lot, especially in light of the recent Central Coast population boom during the pandemic of 8% or 2,000 people that suggests people are moving from the city to regional areas because they can now work from home. Jackie Svedas, Client relationship manager NBN confirmed this trend, saying 1-20 people worked from home pre-pandemic, and now 1-5 people work from home.

The government is focused on skills training to bridge the skills shortage gap. The Job Trainer 2 program will include 1,000 fee free courses Central Coast will have 3,000 in the next 12 months on fee free courses. Overall, $2.7b in skills budget in NSW majority spend of TAFE. Between 40-50% of secondary students go to university, the same % to TAFE through apprentices and trainees. This year, there were 5,000 apprentices on the Central Coast.

Geoff also updated us on the position of the Central Coast council. He said Rick Hart was doing an effective job as the Council administrator, generating $17m surplus in last 4 months of operations. Even still, this only touches the sides of council’s $100m debt. The council is closing it’s Gosford branch, working exclusively from Wyong in 2022, and will raise land rates further. If the rate rise is not approved by IPART, council will downsize their workforce by an addition 250 people in the next 12 months.

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