Unemployment is growing in Sydney's western and south-western suburbs, worsening the city's economic divide. Despite billions being spent on congestion-busting infrastructure that has helped make Sydney the nation's strongest jobs market, new ABS figures show the improvement has been geographically patchy.
Paramatta's jobless rate has risen to 6.7 per cent from 6 per cent, with the number of people looking for working up by almost a quarter since September last year.
Female unemployment in the area is at a 5 year high of 9.1 per cent, having jumped by 40 per cent over the past year.
Across the outer south west around centres such as Campbelltown, it has lifted a full percentage point to 5 per cent, while in the Blacktown area it has increased to 5.5 per cent.
Even the area stretching from Penrith into the Blue Mountains has seen an increase in the jobless rate to 4.4 per cent. A year ago it was 3.4 per cent.