Traditionally a working region with a history steeped in mining and steelmaking, recent decades have seen a shift in employment growth from the primary and secondary sectors (agriculture, manufacturing and mining) to the tertiary sector (services). Retail trade, health and community services and professional services now form a significant part of employment for Hunter residents, and with an unemployment rate well below the state average opportunities for full-time and part time employment are abundant, particularly within the Newcastle and Maitland areas.