Western Australia’s unemployment rate has spiked to 6.8 per cent in January – up from 6.4 per cent – the equal highest rate in 17 years.

Youth unemployment in WA has also risen to 17.2 per cent, up from 15.2 per cent – the second highest in Australia – which means one in six young West Australians who want to work are now unemployed. 131,700 West Australians remain underemployed and want more work.

WA still has the highest payroll tax burden – a literal tax on jobs– of any state in the nation, making it more expensive to create jobs here than anywhere else in Australia.

If the State Government is serious about achieving its 150,000 jobs target and reducing unemployment for West Australians, they must now reduce this tax on WA jobs. 

Yesterday, the State Government set the target of 150,000 new jobs. Today that figure is now 156,787 jobs. Four out of five jobs in WA are created by WA business which is why reducing the jobs tax on small business is essential to reaching this target.

Today’s figures put WA in the unenviable position of having the second highest unemployment rate in the country, second only to Tasmania.

To put this into perspective, while Tasmania may have the highest unemployment rate in the country, its low population compared to WA means that the number of jobs lost in our State is significantly higher, with WA losing 6,787 jobs in the month to January – more than double Tasmania’s 2,908 jobs.

CCI urges the Government to reduce the payroll tax burden for small business to boost job creation and turn this 17-year high unemployment rate around.