1367.5 - Western Australian Statistical Indicators, Jun 2009  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 22/07/2009   
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July 22, 2009
Embargoed 1130 am (AEST)

The ups and downs of WA's job market

In the last 12 months Western Australia has experienced both its lowest unemployment rate on record and the fastest increase in unemployment since records began, according to Western Australian Statistical Indicators, a quarterly snapshot released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The unemployment rate in WA fell to an unprecedented low of 2.7% (trend) in September 2008, at a time when the national rate was already 4.3% and rising.

In the nine months since September 2008, the state's unemployment rate has climbed steadily, reaching 5.2% in trend terms (5.1% seasonally adjusted) in June 2009. However, it is still well below that of other Australian states and most OECD countries. WA's unemployment rate has been lower than the national rate for most of the last 15 years.

Almost 20,000 jobs in the mining industry have been lost in WA since November 2008. Over the same period, many industries have seen a substantial increase in the proportion of people working part-time.

In 1979, males in full-time employment comprised 62% of the Western Australian workforce. Today they account for less than half.

Part-time workers, of both sexes, now comprise much larger proportions of the workforce than was the case 30 years ago.

More details on Western Australia's job market over the past 30 years can be found in a feature article in today's release, Western Australian Statistical Indicators (cat. no. 1367.5)

Media note: When using our statistics, please attribute Australian Bureau of Statistics (or ABS) as the source.