Western Australia

This image shows that there were 1,334,600 people employed in Western Australia as at November 2017, up 2.8% since November 2016 and 1.2% since November 2012. Employment is projected to grow by 7.2% over the five years to May 2022.
 22% of jobs are regional (no change over 5 years).
45% of workers are female (up 1 percentage point over 5 years).
66% of workers hold post-school qualifications (up 5 percentage points over 5 years).
32% of jobs are part-time (up 4 percentage points over 5 years).
The median age is 40 years (no change over 5 years).

Top 5 industries

Top 5 industries
  Employ’t Nov 2017 Share of total 5 year change to Nov 2017
Industry  '000 %  '000 %
Health Care and Social Assistance 163.2 12 23.0 16.4
Construction 142.3 11 16.1 12.8
Retail Trade 130.5 10 -6.8 -5.0
Education and Training 116.5 9 17.5 17.6
Accommodation and Food Services 99.0 7 28.8 41.1

Western Australia is the fourth largest employing state, with employment highly concentrated in Perth. Over the past five years, Western Australia has had the weakest employment growth of any state or territory. This subdued growth was driven by the fall in employment in Mining (down by 32,700 or 26.9%) and Manufacturing (down by 22,600 or 24.7%). Labour market conditions, however, have improved more recently (see below).

Western Australia has 41% of all Mining jobs and, despite the falls in employment noted above, this industry continues to be a major employing industry in this state (accounting for 7% of state jobs).

Accommodation and Food Services added the largest number of new jobs over the past five years, followed by Health Care and Social Assistance and Education and Training.

The age profile of the workforce is in line with the national average, although some areas have an older workforce, such as Western Australia – Wheat Belt (with 30% of workers aged 55 years or older, compared with 19% nationally).

Did you know?
Two in every five WA workers were born overseas

Educational attainment, Western Australia (%)

Shows the educational attainment profile of the Western Australia workforce.  Bachelor degree or higher 28%. Certificate III or higher VET qualification 32%. Other qualification 6%. No post-school qualification 34%.

Age profile, Western Australia (%)

Shows the age profile of the Western Australia workforce. 14% aged 15 to 24 years. 23% aged 25 to 34 years. 22% aged 35 to 44 years. 22% aged 45 to 54 years. 19% aged 55 years or older.

Current conditions (to January 2018)

Labour market conditions in Western Australia strengthened over the year to January 2018, with employment increasing by 24,300. Full-time employment rose by 11,800 over the period, while part-time employment increased by 12,400. The state’s unemployment rate decreased by 0.6 percentage points over the year to 5.7% in January 2018, although it remains above the national rate of 5.5%. The state’s participation rate rose by 0.3 percentage points over the year to 68.0%, well above the national rate (of 65.6%).

Conditions for youth in Western Australia have, however, deteriorated over the year, with youth employment in the state declining by 10,100 (or 5.0%), while the state’s youth unemployment rate increased by 1.5 percentage points to 13.5% in January 2018. 

Outlook

The short-term outlook for the Western Australian economy is for some modest improvement. The Western Australian Treasury has forecast employment growth of 1.5% in 2018-19, while the unemployment rate is expected to average 5.75% over the period. Over the five years to May 2022, employment in Western Australia is projected to increase by 7.2% (just below the projected national growth of 7.8%).

Employment by region, Western Australia

Employment by region, Western Australia
  Employment Employment Profile Workforce Educational Profile Projected Employment
  Employ’t Nov 2017 5 year change
to Nov 2017
Part-time Female Aged 15 to 24 years Aged 55 years or older Bachelor degree or higher Cert III or higher VET qual No post-school qual 5 year change to May 2022
Region ‘000 ‘000 % % % % % % % % %
Greater Perth 1,043.7 22.3 2.2 32 46 15 18 30 31 32 7.8
Bunbury 92.4 7.0 8.3 39 47 13 23 17 37 38 5.4
Western Australia - Outback 120.5 -5.2 -4.2 23 42 12 18 17 39 37 5.0
Western Australia - Wheat Belt 64.5 -0.8 -1.3 36 45 11 30 15 33 43 4.3
Western Australia1 1,334.6 16.4 1.2 32 45 14 19 28 32 34 7.2
Australia 12,380.1 970.7 8.5 32 47 14 19 30 31 33 7.8

1. Some data are trend and, for these, totals do not add

Sources: ABS, Labour Force (trend and annual averages of original data); ABS, Census of Population and Housing; Department of Jobs and Small Business, Regional Employment Projections; Department of Treasury, Western Australia

For more information see lmip.gov.au