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Research reveals CBD jobs earn 70% more than suburban jobs

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New analysis of Census data reveals what many have suspected – that CBD jobs are on average the best paying, with CBD workers earning on average 70% more than the average suburban worker.

The analysis was done for Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne, and forms part of a series of research articles looking at the differences between CBD or inner city employment, and suburban employment.

Author Ross Elliott said the results weren’t surprising, but added it was important to realise that for every CBD job, there are on average 8 or 9 suburban jobs.

“CBD and inner city workers are a privileged lot by comparison with their suburban counterparts,” he said.

“They tend to enjoy higher incomes, better taxpayer subsidised public transport, more convenient access to taypayer funded bikeways and a host of taxpayer funded social, cultural and community infrastructure which tends to be found in our inner city locations.”

“By contrast, the numerically stronger but financially poorer suburban worker has a very different work-life experience.”

“But with 8 or 9 out of ten jobs in our metropolitan areas being outside the CBD, it is fair to ask whether a renewed focus on suburban employment centres might deliver an exponential uplift in economic benefit, property value, and urban amenity city-wide.”

“Suburban employment areas have planning constraints which limit the density of commercial development permitted. Many areas average only around 500 jobs per square kilometre, rising to around 3000 per square kilometre in more highly developed suburban employment areas, but greater densities might be needed for these areas to reach sufficient critical mass.”

“This may be an economic hand brake on our economy. Greater density of suburban employment could be achieved and even more diversification of suburban employment areas allowed such that residential, retail, administrative and other functions could co-exist, as opposed to the clear separations of land use currently imposed by most planning schemes.”

“CBDs will always tend to attract the higher paying jobs but if our cities could stimulate demand for more higher paying jobs in suburban employment areas, we may achieve an exponential stimulation of capital values and a stronger economic base for our economy.”

The full article can be found here.

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