Western Australia retains lowest unemployment of States as more people make move west

  • For the third month in a row, Western Australia has recorded the lowest unemployment rate of the States
  • The unemployment rate has fallen to 4.7 per cent, the lowest rate since December 2013, and below the national rate of 5.1 per cent
  • More people are moving to WA from the Eastern States as a survey of consumers highlights the WA economy is ‘running hot’ 
  • The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) has released its Labour Force Survey for May, which shows that for the third month in a row Western Australia has recorded the lowest unemployment rate of the States.

    The unemployment rate fell to 4.7 per cent in May, down 0.2 per cent from the previous month – the lowest unemployment rate since December 2013. Western Australia’s unemployment rate also remains below the national unemployment rate of 5.1 per cent.

    The number of unemployed is now around 22,000 lower than when the McGowan Government came to office in 2017, when the unemployment rate stood at 6.5 per cent.

    Western Australia also retains the lowest underemployment rate of the States at 7.2 per cent. 

    The combination of low unemployment and underemployment reveals that underutilisation in the labour force is now at the lowest level since May 2014.

    The ABS also released population growth data today which shows Western Australia’s population grew by 1.3 per cent in 2020, behind only Queensland.

    Importantly, net interstate migration returned to growth for the first time since 2013, a sign of people moving to WA to take advantage of the excellent economic opportunities and strong handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    Figures released earlier this week highlight that the Western Australian economy is ‘running hot’, with strong consumer confidence holding firm at record high levels in the first half of 2021.

    As stated by Premier Mark McGowan:

    “Today’s labour force data again highlights the ongoing strength of the Western Australian economy, with the unemployment rate the lowest of the States for a third consecutive month.

    “More people are moving to Western Australia from the Eastern States to take advantage of the economic opportunities that our great State has to offer and our strong handling of the COVID-19 pandemic.

    “It is also a sign that the State Government’s encouragement for Eastern States’ FIFO workers to shift west is succeeding, helping to ensure the benefits of the high incomes generated from the mining sector stay in WA.

    “We are also investing heavily to keep TAFE fees low to give Western Australians, particularly younger people, the skills they need to meet local job opportunities.”

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