The West

Economy rides on retail s back
Appleyards manager Joanne Cole is surprised Census statistics show retail as the number one employer in the City of Albany, before health care and construction.

Retail is the backbone of Albany’s economy, according to data found on the City of Albany’s new online Community Profile.

Statistics from the 2011 Census reveal that of the 15,028 people older than 15 employed in Albany, 2020 work in retail.

That is up from the 1953 employed in retail in the 2006 Census and makes the sector the top employer in Albany.

Health care and the social assistance industry is Albany’s second-largest employer, followed by the construction industry.

Appleyards Homewares manager Joanne Cole did not expect retail to top the list.

“I am surprised to hear retail is our biggest employer,” she said.

Albany Chamber of Commerce chief executive Graham Harvey predicts this will change by the next Census, and health care and social assistance will overtake retail as the biggest employer.

Mr Harvey said with a lack of seven-day trading in Albany, retailers would lose out to online stores.

“Locals want to buy local but unless the shops are not open to convenience them, they will move to online shopping,” he said.

Appleyards is one of the retailers in the city open seven days a week.

“Having more local businesses open seven days a week on the main street gives people more choice and it makes the town feel more alive,” Ms Cole said.

More information can be found on the City of Albany’s website.

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