THE Fitzroy region was in the bottom fifth of the country in terms of employment diversity in 2011, a new Australian Bureau of Statistics study suggests.
Researchers split Australia into 94 statistical regions and compared how their workforces were spread across different industries.
Fitzroy - which takes in Gladstone and Rockhampton - was the 17th least industrially diverse region out of the 94 divisions at the 2011 Census.
Construction was the biggest employer (9845 workers), closely followed by retail trade (9782) and manufacturing (9721).
Residents were least likely to work in the arts and recreation sector (628 workers) and information technology (570).
The report stated an even spread of job types could be seen as a strength or a weakness.
Areas such as the Silicon Valley in the United States, with its intense concentration on technology, or financial clusters in London, New York and Tokyo are able to share suppliers, knowledge and customers between companies to get an edge on their out-of-town competitors. But it has its drawbacks too.
Geelong's over-reliance on the automotive manufacturing industry was proven dangerous when major companies pulled out of Australia to pursue cheaper costs in Asia. The region is now actively "shifting away from specialisation due to the risk associated with the reliance on one or two key industries", the report said.
"Exposure to economic downturns in key industries, while potentially detrimental to a specialised region, is less concerning in a region with greater industrial diversity."
FITZROY EMPLOYMENT (Gladstone, Rockhampton)
Construction - 9845
Retail trade - 9782
Manufacturing - 9721
Health care and social assistance - 9434
Mining - 8487
Education and training - 7763
Accommodation and food services - 6631
Transport, postal and warehousing - 6141
Public administration and safety - 5375
Agriculture, forestry and fishing - 4600
Professional, scientific and technical services - 4513
Other services - 3942
Wholesale trade - 2994
Electricity, gas, water and waste services - 2451
Administrative and support services - 2432
Rental, hiring and real estate services - 1588
Financial and insurance services - 1405
Arts and recreation services - 628
Information media and technology - 570
MOST INDUSTRIALLY DIVERSE REGIONS
1. Moreton Bay South (QLD)
2. Adelaide West (SA)
3. Toowoomba (QLD)
4. Brisbane South (QLD)
5. Brisbane East (QLD)
6. Adelaide South (SA)
7. Geelong (VIC)
8. Central Coast (NSW)
9. Melbourne North East (VIC)
10. Illawarra (NSW)
LEAST INDUSTRIALLY DIVERSE REGIONS
1. Outback Western Australia (WA)
2. Outback Queensland (QLD)
3. Wheat Belt (WA)
4. Darling Downs-Maranoa (QLD)
5. Australian Capital Territory
6. Mackay (QLD)
7. North West (VIC)
8. South-East South Australia (SA)
9. South-East Tasmania (TAS)
10. Warrnambool and South West (VIC)