08/06/2006 - 13:28

WA and national unemployment at record lows

08/06/2006 - 13:28

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New figures show that Western Australian and national unemployment has fallen to new record lows, after an unexpected surge in the job market.

WA and national unemployment at record lows

New figures show that Western Australian and national unemployment has fallen to new record lows, after an unexpected surge in the job market.

Australia Bureau of Statistics figures released today show that unemployment in WA fell to a new low in May, since the inception of labour force figures in 1978, of 3.5 per cent.

This was down from the 3.8 per cent recorded in April.

Also, WA's employment participation rate remained the highest of all the States, at 67.3 per cent. This compares favourably to the national rate of 64.5 per cent - an increase of 0.1 percentage points.

However, it should be noted that the WA participation rate figure masks the fact that the actual number of people looking for work in the state actually declined in May.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA CEO John Langoulant said that the unemployment figures provided a danger that there could be pressure on wages growth and inflation.

He also said it provided evidence that strong flexibility in labour supply was needed at times such as this.

The Chamber of Minerals and Energy was more bullish about the figures.

CME director of policy and external relations David Parker told WA Business News: "The figures are a demonstratable example of the resurgent resources industry in the WA and national economies, and the state's resource sector grew 30 per cent in the past year."

Australia-wide unemployment dropped to 4.9 per cent, after a surge of 50,000 new jobs.

The ABStatistics said the total number of people out of work fell to 521,000, while the number of people in work rose 56,000.

Commenting on the WA result, Premier Alan Carpenter said the outstanding figures followed on from national accounts figures released yesterday, showing WA's 10.6 per cent economic growth was carrying the nation.

"This is the 22nd consecutive month that WA has recorded unemployment figures at or below five per cent," Mr Carpenter said.

The Premier said the state would not be complacent with this good record and that it would continue to develop new opportunities for the future to allow WA to broaden its economic growth from the mining boom.

"This includes further developing emerging research and biotechnology sectors, which form some of the fastest-growing and most important industries in the world today," he said.

The total number of people in work in Australia rose above 10.1 million, reaching 10,142,000.

The nation's full-time employment increased 55,800 to 7.3 million, and part-time employment also grew, to 2.9 million.

Of the states, New South Wales recorded the largest fall in unemployment, dipping to 5.1 per cent - in drop of a full half-percentage point.

 

THE FULL MEIDA RELEASE APPEARS BELOW.

WA unemployment rate sets another record.

Western Australia has again set a record low for unemployment at just 3.5 per cent for May 2006.

Australia Bureau of Statistics figures released today show unemployment in WA fell to a new low since the current Labour Force series commenced in 1978.

The May figure of 3.5 per cent for WA was down 0.3 per cent from a revised 3.8 per cent in April.

Premier Alan Carpenter said the outstanding figures followed on from national accounts figures released yesterday, showing WA's 10.6 per cent economic growth was carrying the nation.

"This is the 22nd consecutive month that WA has recorded unemployment figures at or below five per cent," Mr Carpenter said.

"There can now be no doubt that WA really is shouldering more than its fair share of economy production for the nation and is firmly set as the jobs capital of the country.

"We will not be complacent with this good record. We will continue to develop new opportunities for the future, which will allow us to broaden our economic growth from just the mining boom and the spin-off gained by service and associated industries.

"This includes further developing emerging research and biotechnology sectors, which form some of the fastest-growing and most important industries in the world today.

"The State Government recognises we need to continue to identify key drivers of the global economy and position the State to take every advantage of them, so we can continue our stellar economic growth and further diversify WA's economic opportunities."

WA's participation rate remained the highest of all the States at 67.3 per cent.

The Labor Government has been able to create jobs for 140,900 Western Australians since coming into office.

 

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