Western Australia's job vacancies (original) rose for the fourth successive quarter in November 2006, increasing by 5.8% (1,300) to 23,900 vacancies. This extended period of growth has meant there are now 51.0% (8,100) more vacancies than in the November quarter 2005. Nearly all of the rise over the last year has been due to private sector vacancies increasing by 55.3% (8,000), while public sector vacancies have risen by 4.3% (100). Given the growth in job vacancies, employment in Western Australia can be expected to rise in early 2007, if the growing demand for workers can be adequately matched by the labour supply.
Full-time employment in Western Australia rose by 0.7% (5,100 persons) to 773,100 persons in the three months to February 2007 in trend terms. Most of this rise was in female full-time employment, rising by 3,900 persons (1.6%), and an increase of 1,200 (0.2%) full-time employed males. An estimate of part-time employment in Western Australia showed that female part-time employment rose by 4,800 persons (2.1%) in the three months to February 2007, while male part-time employment fell slightly by 100 persons. Overall, employment in Western Australia increased by 0.9% (9,900 persons) to 1,087,200 persons in the three months to February 2007.
EMPLOYED PERSONS, Total
The main industries driving employment growth in Western Australia through the year to February 2007 were education (up 8,000 persons or 12.7%), government administration and defence (up 6,500 persons or 13.7%) and property and business services (up 6,500 persons or 5.2%). The major occupations driving state employment growth over the same period were intermediate clerical, sales and service workers (up 15,800 persons or 9.3%) and professionals (up 11,900 persons or 6.4%).
The number of unemployed persons (trend) in Western Australia fell by 8.4% (3,100 persons) to 33,800 persons in the three months to February 2007. This fall was mainly driven by fewer unemployed females, declining by 2,900 persons (15.6%), while male unemployment fell by only 200 persons. With the total number of unemployed persons declining in the state, the unemployment rate for Western Australia fell from 3.3% in November 2006 to 3.0% in February 2007 in trend terms. Nationally, the unemployment rate remained unchanged at 4.6% over the same period.
Participation of people in Western Australia's labour force was steady at 67.3% of the state's civilian population (aged 15 years and over) between November 2006 and February 2007. The participation rate for Australia was also steady over the period at 64.8%.