WA’s unemployment rate continues to plummet

WA recorded its lowest unemployment rate in more than seven years and the lowest out of all the States for the third consecutive month.

Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) figures show unemployment in WA fell to 4.7 per cent in May, the lowest rate since December 2013, and below the national rate of 5.1 per cent

This marks a 0.3 per cent drop from the previous month and is higher than only the Australian Capital Territory at 3.6 per cent and the Northern Territory at 4.5 per cent.

Of the States, Victoria recorded 4.8 per cent unemployment and NSW recorded 5 per cent.

The number of unemployed people in WA fell to 22,000 in May, while its underemployment rate increased 0.1 per cent to 7.2 per cent, remaining the lowest of all the States.

CCIWA CEO Chris Rodwell said WA has returned to levels of jobs demand last seen during the mining boom.

“The demand is not only for highly technical and trade skills. Chefs and baristas; sales and administration staff; cleaners and receptionists; transport drivers and packers; all feature in the top three most in-demand occupations in a key WA industry,” he said.

“The business community is training new apprentices and trainees at levels not seen in decades. In light manufacturing commencements are up nearly 90 per cent on pre-COVID levels. In building and construction, they’re up 104 per cent. In finance and business services, it’s up 175 per cent.”

There were 6,500 fewer full-time jobs over the month and an additional 7,400 part time roles in WA.

Since the pandemic began, there are 8,200 more jobs in WA – made up of 11,3000 fewer full-time roles and 19,500 additional part time roles.

CCIWA Chief Economist Aaron Morey noted the “only fly in the ointment is a further shift from full time to part time work”.

“The most important driver of full-time work is business investment,” he said.

Premier Mark McGowan said the unemployment rate reflected the fact that more people were moving to WA from the Eastern States to take advantage of the State’s economic opportunities and strong handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

CCIWA’s Economic Insights page has detailed analyses by our experts about economy.

CCIWA’s Apprenticeship Support Australia is helping address skills gaps across a range of industries.


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