A new report, Red alert suburbs: An employment vulnerability index for Australia's major urban regions, identifies the suburbs across Australia that are most vulnerable to job losses as a result of the current economic crisis.
The Employment Vulnerability Index (EVI) reveals those suburbs - red alert suburbs and amber alert suburbs - most exposed to potential job losses and least well placed to escape disadvantage associated with increasing unemployment.
The model, developed by a team from Griffith University and the University of Newcastle, covers all the capital and major regional cities or some 70 per cent of the total population.
Associate Professor Scott Baum, from Griffith's Urban Research Program, said the high risk suburbs include the traditional battler suburbs.
"All cities and communities will face potential job losses as the economic crisis worsens, but the EVI shows that many will be more affected than others," he said.
"While job losses will be located in some of Australia's most disadvantaged suburbs, other places which have been advantaged by the economic prosperity of recent years will also face increasing unemployment risk."
Professor Bill Mitchell, from the University of Newcastle's Centre of Full Employment and Equity, said new arenas of socio-economic disadvantage that will emerge as a result of the current crisis include the mortgage belt areas in the major cities and regions.
"A significant challenge relates to the outcomes in many suburbs that have been largely immune in the past from unemployment and the disadvantage associated with it.
"While past economic fortunes have been kind to some of these places, the negative impacts of the current economic crisis will bring a different kind of social and economic reality," he said.
Professor Mitchell said some of these suburbs were located in the middle and outer suburban mortgage belts where households purchased homes during the recent housing and economic boom.
"A real danger is that as unemployment strikes many of these suburbs will become hot spots of home repossessions," he said.
The authors of the report said the Federal government should prioritise the minimisation of job loss.
They said the government should introduce a Job Guarantee which would offer a public works job to anyone who wanted one at the minimum wage.
"The current Federal approach to stimulus is not focused on direct job creation and the jobs dividend on the significant public spending will be small."
Professor Mitchell said the Federal government could create 560,000 minimum wage jobs over the next 12 months with $8.5 billion.
For extensive maps and data profiles of the job loss suburbs, visit: EOWA website