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In 2006, 70% of 15-19 year-olds in Western Australia were participating in formal education, similar to the participation rate in 2005 (70%), but below the national average of 78%. The education participation rate of people aged 15-19 years in Western Australia has been consistently below the national average for the past decade. The disparity was lowest in 2000, when 75.5% of 15-19 year-olds were participating in formal education in Western Australia, compared to the national rate of 78%. The state participation rate for 15-19 year-olds fell markedly after this period and has not regained the high reached in 2000. The strong labour market in Western Australia may, in part, be contributing to lower education participation rates for this age group in recent years. Between 2001 and 2006, the labour force participation rate for persons aged 15-19 years in Western Australia increased from 63% to 68% and the unemployment rate decreased from 5.6% to 4.4%.
Between 2005 and 2006, the proportion of people aged 20-24 years participating in education in Western Australia fell from 35% to 31%. Nationally, the education participation rate for people aged 20-24 years also fell over this period (from 39% to 37%). Overall, education participation of 20-24 year-olds in Western Australia has been increasing over the past decade and the rate in 2006 remains higher than that recorded in 1996 (25%). Nationally, the education participation rate for this age group increased from 32% to 37% over the same period.
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