Western Australia is the fourth largest employing state, with employment highly concentrated in Perth. Over the past five years, Western Australia has had the second weakest employment growth of any state or territory. This subdued growth was influenced by falls in Construction (down by 16,300 or 11.6%) and Financial and Insurance Services (down by 11,100 or 31.0%). Offsetting these falls was significant growth in
- Health Care and Social Assistance (up by 36,400)
- Public Administration and Safety (17,700)
- Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (17,200).
Western Australia accounts for 43% of Australia’s Mining jobs. Mining employment in Western Australia fell over much of the past five years but has recovered strongly in the past year. Mining continues to be one of the largest employing industries in Western Australia, accounting for 8% of state jobs.
Current conditions (to January 2019)
Labour market conditions in Western Australia have been mixed over the year. Employment increased by just 900 (or 0.1%) in the year to January 2019, with full-time employment rising strongly (up by 28,600, or 3.2%), while part-time employment decreased (down by 27,800, or 6.3%).
The state’s unemployment rate has risen by 1.2 percentage points over the year to 6.8% in January 2019, well above the national rate of 5.0%. The state’s participation rate has also increased over the year, up by 0.3 percentage points to 68.4% in January 2019, well above the national rate of 65.7%.
Conditions for youth in Western Australia have been relatively weak over the year, with youth employment increasing by 500 (or 0.3%), while the state’s youth unemployment rate has also increased, up by 1.4 percentage points to 14.8% in January 2019, well above the national rate of 11.5%.
The short-term outlook for the Western Australian economy is reasonably positive. The Western Australian Treasury has forecast employment growth of 2.0% in 2019-20, while the unemployment rate is expected to average 5.75% over the period. Over the five years to May 2023, employment in Western Australia is projected to increase by 5.0% (below the projected national growth of 7.1%).
Sources: ABS, Labour Force (trend and annual averages of original data); ABS, Education and Work; Department of Jobs and Small Business, Employment Projections; Department of Treasury, Western Australia
For more information see lmip.gov.au