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CofFEE Functional Economic Regions

Introducing the Functional Economic Regions

The Centre of Full Employment and Equity has developed a new geography for Australia which we call the CofFEE Functional Economic Regions (CofFEE FER). The genesis of the CofFEE FER began with our concern that the administrative geographical demarcations currently used by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) – the Australian Standard Geographical Classification (ASGC) to collect and disseminate their labour force and Census data - is unsuited to the task of providing a systematic understanding of level of economic interaction within and between neighbouring regions.

The CofFEE FER provide a new socio-economic geography for Australia (regionalisation) or spatial aggregation of data based on an analysis of economic behaviour in the form of commuting flows which are collected in the ABS Census of Population and Housing. We consider the resulting geographical classification based on underlying economic behaviour provides new insights into critical issues of regional performance, including unemployment differentials, the impact of industry, infrastructure and changes in local public expenditure on local labour markets.

This page will provide you with access to all the resources that we generate under this project, including a Users Manual; Maps; Datasets; and Shapefiles to allow you to construct your own maps and datasets.


You can now use our interactive FER map server (from August 18, 2011). As part of another project we will add further functionality to the material now available.

Technical Users Manual

Coming soon - end of 2011 - as part of another major project (AURIN).

GIS Shapefiles

=> CFER Australia with no original SLA boundaries included and CFER names - large zip file 25 mgs.

=> CFER Australia with original SLA boundaries included and CFER names - large zip file 45 mgs.


=> Complete naming information for the CofFEE FERs - Excel file.

=> Intramax fusion reports for the CofFEE FERs - Excel file.


=> East Coast and South Australia - pdf.

=> Western Australia - pdf.

=> Tasmania - pdf.

=> Northern Territory - pdf.

Other documents

=> CofFEE FERs 2006 Census population counts

Flash map tools for CofFEE Functional Regions

The flash map tools allow you to study the CofFEE FERs without having to use a GIS mapping software. They overlay ABS Statistical Local Area and Labour Market Regions onto the FER boundaries to allow comparisons. Zooming and mouse dragging the maps are possible. You have to have flash installed to view these maps.

=> NSW, ACT, and Victoria

=> Queensland

=> South Australia, Western Australia, and NT

=> Tasmania

Media Contact

For media - please ring Professor Bill Mitchell on 0419 422 410 or contact the CofFEE Office (see menu on left).


Conference 2013

The 14th Path to Full Employment Conference/19th National Unemployment Conference will be held in Newcastle, December 4-5, 2013. See Home Page for details.

2013 Conference Home Page.