Economic Wrap: WA’s unemployment tumbles but are more people working?

WA's unemployment rateWA’s unemployment rate dropped to 3.3% in September, surpassing Australia’s 3.6% rate and tying for the lowest amongst all states. 

The drop in the unemployment rate in WA was due to a decline in the labour force, not job gains. WA lost 3,200 jobs, while the Australian labour force increased by 7,000 workers over the month, according to Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) data. 

Housing completions remain sluggish 

Residential construction in the pipelineDespite building activity slowing again over the June quarter, WA’s massive residential construction pipeline continues to decline. Just under 3000 new builds began during the quarter, the lowest number since September 2020, whereas only 3,213 were completed, less than the previous two quarters. Given the low number of housing starts, this has allowed the industry to work through the massive backlog, with the number of houses in the pipeline declining for the third consecutive quarter. Given the recent lack of housing approvals, we are unlikely to see a significant pick-up in commencements any time soon.  

China showing positive signs but risks still linger

China's GDP growthTurning overseas, there is renewed confidence that China will hit its economic growth target for the year after posting stronger-than-expected results across key areas. China’s economy grew 4.9% through the year to September, down from 6.3% recorded in June but still well above expectations. This is on the back of robust industrial production, which grew 4.5% for the year to September amid the recent rush of policy initiatives to help bolster the economic rebound, while retail sales also grew at a solid 5.5% for the year, up from the 4.6% recorded in August. At the same time, China’s unemployment rate edged down to 5% in September, the lowest reading since November 2021. This shows positive signs for China’s economy, although its property sector will continue to be monitored closely for any further signs of weakness.  

CCIWA’s Economic reports are available exclusively to CCIWA Complete, Advantage and Corporate Members. For more see CCIWA’s Economic Insight page. 

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