WARRNAMBOOL's unemployment rate has hit 5.1 per cent with support agencies reporting an increase in people needing help.
Data released from the Australian Bureau of Statistics the unemployment rate jumped from 1.2 per cent in August to 5.1 per cent in September for Warrnambool and the south-west.
According to the ABS there were 3700 unemployed people in the region for the month of September.
Warrnambool City Council's director of city growth Andrew Paton said the data showed how tough the local tourism and services sector had been doing during the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Many of these businesses have seen their cash flows grind to a halt," he said.
Mr Paton said there had been drop in Warrnambool's employment base of five per cent which was consistent with other regional centres in Victoria.
He said it was encouraging that from November 8 travel from metro Melbourne into regional Victoria would open up.
"That is encouraging for businesses that rely on visitors," he said. Mr Paton said local businesses had done a wonderful job preparing for this and he expected to see more activity in the city.
"They've been so resilient and have done it so tough," he said.
"We're all hoping now for a safe and great summer."
According to community development coordinator for Anglicare Victoria South West Louise Serra the numbers of people needing support were growing again.
"It's significantly busier than when people were getting JobSeeker," she said.
"The demographic is slightly different with casual workers, particularly people working in hospitality."
Ms Serra said a new hotline had been established for people outside of the 10am - 12 noon operating hours.
"This is what emergency relief was set up for," she said. "It's practical support to keep the books balanced and keep your head above water."
To call the hotline phone 0437 531 997.
Have you signed up to The Standard's daily newsletter and breaking news emails? You can register below and make sure you are up to date with everything that's happening in the south-west.