Economic Spotlight on Merri-bek


Case Studies

The Client

Merri-bek City Council


Merri-bek City Council needed a concise presentation about the local economy to support their engagement with local economy. 


.id presented an economic analysis of the Merri-bek economy that covered its recent performance, competitive industries and business outlook.

Our Method

.id analysed the economic drivers with an economic story about Merri-bek and its place in the regional and larger macro environment. Our approach was designed to better inform Council about the locations strategic strengths, weaknesses and gaps and how these have developed overtime, rather than repeating factual statements and presenting data.


The outcome for Council is an up-to-date evidence base to support engagement with businesses and ultimately support a review of their Economic Development Strategy. 

Economic Spotlight on Merri-bek

In 2023, our economic consulting team was invited by Merribek City Council to present our findings from the local economy health check.

This presentation was based on our Economic Health Check consulting report which assesses recent economic performance, growth drivers, competitive advantages and barriers to growth

Here were the key takeaways from the health check:

Quick recovery after COVID-19

The economy of Merri-bek experienced a significant recovery in terms of jobs and economic growth after the negative impacts of COVID-19. The unemployment rate fell strongly and by June 2023 was sitting at 3.7%, similar to the average rate in Greater Melbourne and much lower than previous averages.

Key industry growth

Professional, Scientific, and Technical Services saw growth due to the macro trend of increasing demand for knowledge based industries, and the construction boom in Melbourne which supported architecture and planning services, a specialisation of the LGA. The demand for education services increased due to population growth, while the food and beverage services remained strong even during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Demographic advantages

Merri-bek has a population that is generally younger, more well-educated, and more diverse than the metropolitan average. It has seen a wave of new highly qualified residents in recent decades attracted by the close proximity and accessibility to Melbourne's CBD. The resident base would be attractive to businesses looking to set up in lower cost areas but with access to workers with advanced skills. Cultural diversity provides opportunities for growth and the rise of remote work also benefits local businesses and improves quality of life.

Challenges and weaknesses

Although there has been some growth recently, the overall economy and job market still have room for improvement compared to historical and Greater Melbourne averages. The LGA has seen a transition of land use and the exodus of more productive industry activity towards an economy focused on population servicing. New high-value services or light industrial activities supported by the creation of new fit for purpose facilities and commercial spaces may help.

Positive outlook

The hospitality, cultural, and education industries in Merri-bek have strong expected growth due to new residents moving into a number of soon to be completed high-density developments. The job market is expected to continue to grow, which will help support local spending and business expansion. More professional services businesses may be attracted due to the transition of industrial land and an increase in remote working.


About our economic consulting team

Our economic consulting team is engaged by councils and organisations across Australia to provide in-depth insights behind the data. Our experts draw on their knowledge of urban and regional economic development and years of experience working with decision makers across Australia. This information is used by councils to develop evidence based economic development strategies, investment attraction plans and support grant applications.

If you need help on a project, please contact us and we will get in touch.

Join thousands of subscribers ...


Subscribe to monthly updates

Stay up to date about demographic and economic changes around Australia with .id Insight, our monthly newsletter.


Follow the .id blog

Receive articles twice a week about demographic, economic and housing trends and more. We promise it will be interesting.