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1367.5 - Western Australian Statistical Indicators, Dec 2003  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/01/2004   
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MEDIA RELEASE

January 14, 2004
Embargoed: 11:30 AM (AEST)
01/2004
Solid economic foundation laid by WA construction industry

In 2002-03, the Western Australian construction industry contributed $6.7 billion to the State's Gross Product, according to figures released today in a special article by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

In the five years from 1998-99 to 2002-03, the value of construction activity increased by $2.6 billion (40.5%) and was mainly driven by engineering construction for large mining projects in the state.

A statistical profile of the state's construction industry is featured in Western Australian Statistical Indicators (cat. no. 1367.5). Key findings from the report include:
  • In 2002-03, the value of engineering construction activity rose by $1.6 billion (51.3%) to account for more than half of the value of total construction activity in Western Australia.
  • The value of residential building activity increased by $0.9 billion (40.6%) from 1998-99 to 2002-03.
  • The value of the state's building approvals in the second half of 2002-03 rose by 27.7% from the same period in the previous year, suggesting a positive outlook for building activity in 2003-04.
  • Business investment in the construction industry declined sharply in 1999-2000, down 40.9% (to $159 million), coinciding with a significant fall in mineral exploration expenditure in that year. Since 1999-2000, business investment recovered to reach $241 million in 2002-03.
  • In 2002-03, the construction industry employed 8.1% of the state's workforce, the fifth largest employing industry in Western Australia.
  • The number of people employed in construction trade services rose by 18.0% over the five years to 2002-03.
  • People employed in the state's construction industry worked an average of 40.7 hours per week in 2002-03, compared to 38.4 hours per week nationally.
  • The weekly median income of people employed in Western Australia's construction industry was $683 in 2001, higher than any other state in Australia.
  • Apprenticeship and trainee completions in the state's construction industry rose by 8.2% in the five years to 2002-03.
  • The incidence rate of work-related injury and disease in the state's construction industry fell by 40.0% in the five years to 2002-03.
  • In 2002-03, industrial disputes in the construction industry in Western Australia resulted in 491 working days lost per thousand employees, down from 1,072 working days lost per thousand employees in 1998-99.

Further information is in Western Australian Statistical Indicators, December Quarter 2003 (cat. no. 1367.5).

Media Note: Western Australian Statistical Indicators also provides information on: state accounts; consumer price index; tourism; labour market; finance; trade; population; crime; and environment statistics.

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