It is well known that Australia’s regions display considerable disparities in labour market outcomes, and these disparities have persisted, despite an extended period of economic growth throughout the 1990s. Even a cursory examination of long term and short term unemployment rates, in Figures 1 and 2, show a very obvious clustering of low and high values in particular regions. When a variable displays a systematic pattern across space (is non-random), it can be said to exhibit spatial dependence. If regions with high values are located next to other high valued regions, and regions with low values are located next to other low valued regions, positive spatial dependence exists. Where regions form a cluster of unusually high values this has been termed a ‘hotspot’, similarly a ‘coldspot’ refers to a group of neighbouring regions that exhibit unusually low values. Hotspots and coldspots represent uncharacteristic deviations from a national spatial pattern and thus are of interest to researchers and policy-makers.
ARCRNSISS Methodology, Tools and techniques and Spatial Theory Paradigm Forums Workshop, Proceedings of the ARCRNSISS Methodology, Tools and Techniques and Spatial Theory Paradigm Forums Workshop (Newcastle, NSW 15-17June, 2005) p. 37-69