20/06/2018 - 15:14

Pilbara leads spike in WA job vacancies

20/06/2018 - 15:14

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Job vacancies in the Pilbara and Kimberley regions hit their highest level in four years in May, as demand for engineers, IT professionals and automotive trade workers in Western Australia takes off.

The index is a good indicator of future trends in unemployment.

Job vacancies in the Pilbara and Kimberley regions hit their highest level in four years in May, as demand for engineers, IT professionals and automotive trade workers in Western Australia takes off.

The latest trend data from the Department of Jobs and Small Business showed its index of internet job vacancies was up 5.8 per cent nationally in the year to May, while growth in the WA market was 18 per cent.

The indicator is considered to lead movements in employment, suggesting unemployment will recover in WA in the year ahead.

CommSec chief economist Craig James said vacancies were up 23.7 per cent in the Pilbara and the Kimberley.

“It wasn’t long ago that Australia’s resources sector was in the doldrums following the end of the mining construction boom,” he said.

“Well, there is light at the end of the tunnel for Western Australians.

“Job vacancies in the west are leading the country and are at three-year highs.

“And while Perth ads are the best in 2.5 years, most ads are being advertised in our mining heartland, the Pilbara and Kimberley regions.

“Engineers, labourers and construction workers are in huge demand.  

“And it’s little wonder.

“Aussie mining giants BHP and Rio Tinto are hiring workers again after a period of balance sheet consolidation and asset divestment.

“Profits have rebounded to three-year highs on the back of rising commodity prices and supply restraints.”

Mr James noted a number of big mining projects, such as BHP’s South Flank, would also boost numbers.

State wide, demand for engineers was up 54 per cent in the year to May, with about 840 vacancies, while national vacancies lifted 24 per cent.

Another big growth area for WA over the year was vacancies for information technology professionals, which came in 48 per cent higher.

There was strong demand for technical and trade workers, too, growing 37 per cent, with the subcategory of automotive and engineering trade workers rocketing up 55 per cent.

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