New jobs boost sluggish economy

23 August, 2017

WA’s economy is showing improvement and is continuing to generate new full-time jobs, with July labour force figures revealing our unemployment rate now at 5.4 per cent—the lowest in two years.

CCI WA Chief Economist Rick Newnham says the figures released are a positive sign for a state struggling to create new full-time jobs since the mining industry’s transition to the production phase of the resources boom which resulted in widespread job losses.

“This boost in employment has kept WA below the national unemployment rate (5.6%) for the second month in a row after more than two years of our state lagging behind,” Newnham says.

“This is thanks to an increase in full-time employment by 3,688 jobs—returning WA to boom time levels of full-time jobs in the economy.”

“We haven’t seen the same growth for wages, with WA recording the lowest through-the-year wage growth of 1.4 per cent.”

Newnham says this slight increase in wages, and decrease in unemployment and labour force participation, suggests a tightening of labour in the WA economy, and is a sign that business confidence remains soft.

Despite WA recording the lowest through-the-year wage growth, private sector wages have increased by 0.3 per cent—up one per cent over the past 12 months—and public sector wages have increased by 0.2 per cent, up 2.1 per cent over the past year.

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