1367.5 - Western Australian Statistical Indicators, Sep 2009  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/10/2009   
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October 27, 2009
Embargo: 11.30 am (AEDT) 27/10/2009

Long hours and high incomes, a detailed look at the Pilbara: ABS

Of all regions in Western Australia, the Pilbara had the highest percentage of households with a gross weekly income over $2,500. High incomes were accompanied by long hours though, with 43% of all employed people in the Pilbara working 49 or more hours per week, according to analysis released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

Across the Pilbara in 2006, the proportion of males between the working ages of 20 and 59 was significantly higher than the state proportion (65% compared with 56%). Of all employed people, 44% were working in the mining or construction industries and, of those, 86% were male.

The high earning Pilbara region can also be seen to be moving with the times. The Pilbara region had a higher proportion of dwellings connected to the Internet than Western Australia as a whole (71% compared with 63%).

Interestingly, this keen adoption of technology has been accompanied by a reduction of residential electricity use in the region. From 2003 to 2008, average electricity use of total residential users in the Pilbara decreased from 17,929.3 to 13,818.0 kilowatt hours.

Other trends in the region showed the number of reported crimes in the Pilbara increasing by 13% over the six years to 2007–08, with property damage accounting for the largest increase in numbers (up by 464); and the average cost of new residential building approvals in the Pilbara increasing significantly from $134,929 in 2000–01 to $415,549 in 2006–07.

Spotlight on the Pilbara is the topic of a feature article released today in Western Australian Statistical Indicators (cat. no. 1367.5). This article details the initial results of a partnership project between the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the nine Western Australian Regional Development Commissions, and the Western Australian Department of Regional Development and Lands.

This partnership has produced Spotlight on the Pilbara, released as a web based facility http://www.regionalspotlights.com.au in September 2009, the first in a series of community indicator frameworks being developed through the partnership.

To view the feature article, see today's release of Western Australian Statistical Indicators (cat. no. 1367.5).