WA workforce straining to meet demand 

CCIWA Chief Economist

Aaron Morey

 

Today’s ABS figures show WA’s workforce is straining to meet the demands of a hot economy. 

 

Western Australians are working more hours than any time on record, reaching 199 million hours this month. It reinforces CCIWA Business Confidence Survey results, which showed additional pressure on existing workers while roles in WA businesses stand vacant. 

Unemployment has fallen to 4.1% the lowest result since January 2013, and the lowest of any State.

 

Every drop of labour is being soaked up by business, with part-time work declining as 14,100 women entered full-time roles. A record 1.47m West Australians are employed. 

 

In a healthy economy, businesses can keep pace with growth by drawing on a ready pool of suitably skilled workers. 

 

Instead, WA’s economic engine is pushing the speed limit while stuck in a lower gear, put under strain by skills and worker shortages and supply chain disruptions. 

 

These results are released on a day when the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry has revealed increasing stress levels on small businesses owners. 

 

There is little slack left in WA’s workforce, and there is desperate need for a pressure release valve via the only sustainable solution  — access to overseas workers. 

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