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WA unemployment at 10 year low

WA’S unemployment rate hit a 10 year low of 6.1 per cent in December, according to recent Australian Bureau of Statistics figures.

The ABS figures also show WA had the lowest unemployment rate of any State in Australia in December.

WA’s unemployment rate fell to 6.1 per cent from 6.8 per cent in November. At the same time, the national unemployment rate rose from 6.7 per cent to 7 per cent.

However, the youth jobless rate was 19.2 per cent.

While this was below the national rate of 25 per cent and lower than the 22 per cent for the same time last year, it was still a 0.5 per cent increase on the November figure.

In 1999, WA experienced strongest employment growth in the electricity, gas and water, construction, wholesale trade, transport and storage and retail trade sectors.

Job vacancies in WA are also at their highest level since December 1989, with the number of newspaper job advertisements up 30 per cent on a year ago.

Australian Chamber of Com-merce and Industry chief executive Mark Paterson said the rise in Australia’s jobless rate was a mere distraction.

He said, using trend numbers, it could be shown Australia’s jobless rate actually fell from 7 per cent in November to 6.9 per cent in December.

“More importantly, the growth in employment remains consistently strong,” Mr Paterson said.

“Full-time employment rose in December at an annual rate of 2.4 per cent.

“Total employment in the past month rose at an annual rate of 2.3 per cent,” he said.

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