Assessing Risk with Spatial Indexes

Assessing Risk with Spatial Indexes of Economic Prosperity and Employment Vulnerability

This Project builds on the development of the Employment Vulnerability Index (EVI) by the Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE) at the University of Newcastle in liaison with the Urban Research Program (URP), Griffith University. This project will allow for the original EVI to be updated and also an Economic Prosperity Index to be developed.
 Unemployment Levels Rise Dramatically In Spain

Project Overview

The development of this e-Tool was motivated by the need for regionally-specific risk indicators in the face of the impending consequences of the Global Financial Crisis and similar cyclical events.

The Project updates the Employment Vulnerability Index (EVI) data with the latest 2011 Census data. A new index, the Economic Prosperity Index (EPI) has been developed using both the 2006 and 2011 Census data. This involves the updating of the Regional Concentration Ratios for each of the indexes. Compatible code has been developed with the AURIN Portal which allows end users to manipulate the weights used to compile the indexes, according to their own priorities and values, and to recompute the indexes and associated descriptive and visual material (maps etc).

Project Outputs

  • Background intellectual property available for AURIN to facilitate completion of the subcontracted project
  • The Employment Vulnerability Index for 2006* available for AURIN
  • The Employment Vulnerability Index for 2011* available for AURIN, updated with Census 2011 data
  • The Economic Prosperity Index for 2006* developed using Census 2006 data
  • The Economic Prosperity Index for 2011* developed using Census 2011 data
  • Updated metadata and Regional Concentration Ratios (RCR) for each index (EVI and EPI), for 2006 and 2011 Census.
  • Fully-tested AURIN-compatible code and functionality to allow users to manipulate index weights and produce self-generated risk indexes from EPI and EVI
  • Complete (flat table, one record per region coded to boundaries) downloadable database containing a large number of variables for end-user download for each of the indexes (a table for each).

* This includes numerical data, documentation (fact sheet, technical scoping-vision document, and user manual), a detailed database containing Statistical Area 2 (SA2) profiles, metadata and relevant shapefiles – which are a common standard for representing geospatial vector data, and describe the world using points, lines, and polygons.

Project Team Overview

The Centre of Full Employment and Equity (CofFEE) has been a research centre at the University of Newcastle since December 1998. CofFEE seeks to undertake and promote research into the goals of full employment, price stability and achieving an economy that delivers equitable outcomes for all. The Centre has links to many economic research centres worldwide and regularly collaborates with researchers in these centres to produce world-class economic research activity.

The Urban Research Program (URP) was established at Griffith University in 2004. It seeks to lead Australia’s effort to improve the understanding of urbanisation and urban questions, in their full historical, economic, spatial, social, environmental and institutional contexts.

The URP undertakes multi-disciplinary research that seeks to produce new knowledge for scholarly, policy, practitioner and community spheres so they can respond to the ongoing transformation of cities and regions and engender equitable and sustainable urban development.

This project builds upon earlier extensive collaborative work done by the project leaders in relation to Risk and Vulnerability in Australia, which has resulted in various published journal articles, grants and conference papers.

Bill MitchellProfessor Bill Mitchell
CofFEE Centre Director
p. 0419 422 410


Project Partners

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Further Reading

  • Baum, S 2004, ‘Measuring socio-economic outcomes in Sydney: an analysis of census data using a general deprivation index’, Australasian Journal of Regional Studies, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 105-131.
  • Mitchell, WF & Carlson, E 2005, ‘Exploring employment growth disparities across metropolitan and regional Australia’, Australasian Journal of Regional Studies, vol. 11, no. 1, pp. 25-40.
  • Mitchell, WF & Bill, A 2006, ‘Who benefits from growth?: disadvantaged workers in growing regions’, Australian Journal of Labour Economics, vol. 9, no. 2, pp. 239-255.
  • Bill, A, Mitchell, WF & Welters, R 2008, ‘Job mobility and segmentation in Australian city labour markets’, International Journal of Environment, Workplace and Employment, vol. 3, no. 3-4, pp. 212-229.
  • Bill, A, Mitchell, WF & Watts, MJ 2008, ‘The occupational dimensions of local labour markets in Australian cities’, Built Environment, vol. 34, no. 1, pp. 291-306.
  • Baum, S, Bill, A & Mitchell, WF 2008, ‘Employment outcomes in non metropolitan labour markets: individual and regional labour market factors’ Australasian Journal of Regional Science, vol. 14, no. 1, pp. 5-26.
  • Baum, S, Bill, A & Mitchell, WF 2008, ‘Unemployment in non-metropolitan Australia: integrating geography, social and individual contexts’, Australian Geographer, vol. 39, no. 2, pp. 193-210.
  • Baum, S, & Mitchell, WF 2009, ‘Red alert suburbs: an employment vulnerability index for Australia’s major urban regions’, Research Report, Centre of Full employment and Equity, Centre of Full Employment and Equity, University of Newcastle and the Urban Research Program, Griffith University
  • Baum, S, & Gleeson, B 2010, ‘Space and place: social exclusion in Australia’s suburban heartlands’, Urban Policy and Research, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 135-159.
  • Mitchell, WF 2011, ‘Exploring regional disparities in employment growth’, in Drivers of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Regional Dynamics, eds K Kourtit, P Nijkamp & R Stough, Springer-Verlag, pp. 337-359.
  • Baum, S 2012, Socio-economic Disadvantage and Suburban Scars, Lambert Academic Publishing, Saarbrücken, Germany.
  • Mitchell, WF 2013, ‘The changing pattern of labour underutilisation in Europe in the face of policy austerity’, forthcoming Urban Studies.