The latest labour market numbers were good news for WA.

Big drop in WA unemployment

The unemployment rate in Western Australia has dropped 0.5 percentage points in March, to 5.5 per cent in seasonally adjusted terms.

Nearly 17,000 jobs were created during the month, taking employment to nearly 1.36 million, again in seasonally adjusted terms, according to the latest data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

In trend terms, however, which the bureau considers a more accurate measure, employment rose by 700 while unemployment fell 0.3 per cent to 5.7 per cent, while the increase was 12,000 in original terms.

Employment among women, seasonally adjusted, lifted to the highest level on record, at 607,800.

Nationally, unemployment fell to 5.7 per cent, a 2.5-year low, while employment rose by 26,100.

Commsec chief economist Craig James said employment had recorded a sizable rebound.

“Labour market conditions have certainly improved over the past year; business conditions are healthier, profitability has improved, and more importantly the housing sector is providing significant support to an array of industries,” he said.

“While the pessimists may focus on the fact that hours worked fell in the March, the slide in the unemployment rate to 5.7 per cent will provide a big boost to confidence amongst Aussie consumers.

“And as we saw over the latter part of 2015, job security plays a big part in household consumption.”

AMP Capital chief economist Shane Oliver said it was not an unambiguously strong result because full-time employment tailed off while part-time employment rose.

“Annual jobs growth of 2 per cent is roughly in line with that indicated by forward looking jobs indicators like ANZ job ads and business intentions regarding employment and the downtrend in unemployment is consistent with ongoing strength in the jobs market,” he said.

“The clear message is that jobs growth in the non-mining economy is continuing to more than offset the loss of mining related jobs.’’

Mr Oliver said jobs growth in WA had been 0.3 per cent year on year.


with 60% of the working population being used, as casual, with no rights, it is virtually impossible for them to register as unemployed, They would be entitled to nothing. The true figure of "Casual workers" that are unemployed would be 3 times the governments made up figures. Permanent jobs, that offer paid holiday entitlements, are few and the W.A. economy is fed off the backs of casual, slave labor with no rights and no benefits.

The latest numbers indicate nearly 70 per cent of those employed are in full time jobs. Thanks for your comments.

Perth, Australia
Would really love to see where these numbers are coming from. We are certainly seeing a reduction in expected sectors, but also reductions from offshoring, companies moving east, M&A activity where the Perth company is acquired and duplicate jobs are eliminated/moved, and a few green shoots. Job applications have doubled in the last six months on average from our view, many of which are from those not working. Perth will recover, but it hasn't hit bottom yet, hard to agree with the article suggesting employment numbers are improving.

Thanks for your comment - just to be clear Eric it isn't me saying it, its just the update from the ABS. Hopefully we're on the way back up!

We have seen a dramatic increase in hiring activity across our mining clients as well as non-mining. And we have also seen, for the first time in a long time, candidates having a choice of offers, and accepting other roles before our clients have made them an offer. This increase in competitiveness for the best candidates is a welcome return of positivity to the market. Whilst we are far from calling it a buoyant jobs market, it is starting to show those signs again. We are also getting clients needing us after not having success with their own advertising, again, a very positive sign that the market is tightening a little, and choice is returning for candidates. Regarding employment among women, we are certainly seeing female candidates returning to the market after a break to have children, as a result of their husbands either losing their jobs, or taking reduced hours and pay.

I wonder what the actual unemployment rate is. Y'know, what the numbers are like before they get cooked and fiddled with.

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Total Shareholder Return as at 30/06/16

1 year TSR5 year TSR
362ndANZ Banking Group9%14%
480thCommonwealth Bank-7%14%
711 WA (and selected non WA) listed companies ranked by 1 year TSR relative to other companies with similar revenue
Source: Morningstar


5th-Commonwealth Bank$27,005.0m
8th↓ANZ Banking Group$21,071.0m
77 listed non wa companies ranked by revenue.
Source: Morningstar

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