Yasmin Rittau examines and evaluates the development of a local employment generation strategy by a regional union body. Unemployment has affected most, if not all, developed countries since the collapse of the post World War 2 economic boom. Local or regional measures can be used to address unemployment as unemployment has a local and/ or regional component, particularly as it may be geographically confined to certain regions. The regional nature of unemployment opens concerns and opportunities for greater involvement from the lower levels of the union hierarchy, such as regional labour councils. The South Coast Labour Council operating in the Illawarra region in Australia, which is important in steelmaking and coalmining, attempted to address unemployment by using its union structure that was specifically focused on the regional level and on regional concerns. Rittau demonstrates how and to what extent the South Coast Labour Council expanded traditional union concerns to adopt a strategy to include local employment generation in the 1980s and 1990s when the traditional industrial base of Illawarra region was slow in diversifying and restructuring required ever-fewer workers.