Northern Beaches Economic Health Check


Case Studies

The Client

Northern Beaches

The Challenge

Northern Beaches Council needed a comprehensive understanding of the local economy to support the development of an action plan and economic development strategy.

What Was Learned

.id prepared a comprehensive Economic Health Check that not only identified the localised impacts of COVID restrictions but also analysed other recent trends in competitive industries. An analysis of remote working opportunities was also undertaken.


Region is ripe for establishment of co-working or “Work Near Home” suburban shared workspace facilities in high amenity retail/commercial hubs. Several other opportunities were identified.

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The Organisational Challenge

The Northern Beaches is a large coastal suburban area with an economy built on tourism and hospitality as well as population based industries that service the 274,000 people. There is a large educated professional resident workforce that regularly commute into Sydney’s CBD and the North Shore everyday earning higher incomes than what the local employment opportunities can provide. Recent economic growth has been lower than the metropolitan average and the gap between the number of local jobs and residents working in Professional Services has not closed, reaching over 13,000 in 2020. The onset of COVID restrictions in 2020 hit the tourism and creative industries hard and there was uncertainty about the scale of impacts.

The .id Solution

Council were interested in exploring a number of economic forces impacting the Northern Beaches economy. .id prepared a comprehensive Economic Health Check that not only identified the localised impacts of COVID restrictions but also analysed other recent trends in competitive industries. The scale and location of working from home and home based businesses in the region was also analysed to understand the potential opportunity going forward.


The outcome for Council was a strong evidence base to support stakeholder discussions and action plans being prepared for their economic development strategy. Key opportunities for sustained growth were detailed as well as challenges that may continue to inhibit growth if not addressed.

Key Findings

  • Lower GRP growth in recent years as a result of a decrease in construction activity following the completion of Northern Beaches Hospital
  • Productivity per worker has declined as less productive industries (e.g. health, retail) grow their share of employment
  • Strong growth in residential building approvals could help boost local construction industry but a higher than average share are renovations, not new builds.
  • Domestic and international visitation (pre-COVID) had grown strongly since 2015.

Need an economic health check for your region or municipality?

Our Economic Health Check report provides you with a comprehensive analysis of the local economy. This report and presentation covers current economic position, recent trends, drivers of recent change, strategic sectors and localised SWOT. It is great for assessing the current state of play in the economy and crucial first step in the development of a long term economic development strategy. Learn more here.

Please contact us if you need more information.

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