1304.5 - Stats Talk WA, Dec 2007  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/12/2007   
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Census Second Release

Results and Summary

Second Release Results
On 25 October 2007, the Australian Bureau of Statistics published second release data from the 2006 Census.

The statistics focussed on Australia’s workforce and industry changes, level of education and internal migration. This data is available free on the ABS website <www.abs.gov.au> through 2006 Census products such as QuickStats, MapStats, Census Tables and Community Profiles.

Education in WA
Current Students
In 2006, 22% of Western Australians (437,200 people) were attending an educational institution.

Almost 290,000 children and young people attended school in WA at the time of the 2006 Census. The majority attended a Government school (59%). Government schools used to educate more students ten years ago. In 1996, 76% of primary students attended a Government school, compared to 70% in 2006. For secondary students, the figures dropped from 66% in 1996 to 58% in 2006.

Of the 73,100 people attending university, 57% were women, and 41% were over 25 years of age. There were 40,800 people attending a technical or further educational institution (including TAFE); of these 51% were women, and 52% were aged under 25.

Educational Qualifications
In 2006, 53% of people in WA aged 15 years or over (831,600 people) had completed at least one non-school qualification. More women than men have completed university courses in WA. In 2006, 15% of women aged over 15 years (120,900) held a bachelor degree or higher, compared with 14% (104,700) of men.

The type of qualifications varied between different statistical divisions (SD) in WA. In the Perth SD, 13% of people held a bachelor degree or higher and a further 14% held a Certificate. In the Pilbara SD, 7% held a bachelor degree or higher and 17% held a Certificate. In 2006, the three most commonly held qualifications in WA were those in Teaching (6.5%), Business and Management (5.1%) and Building (4.6%).

Workforce Analysis
Of Western Australians aged 15 years and over, 60% were employed during the week before the 2006 Census. This data confirms the state’s strong labour market, as indicated by the Labour Force publication (cat. no. 6202.0). Western Australia had the highest proportion of employed persons of all the states, except the territories of ACT (67%) and NT (60%).

Census data recorded an unemployment rate of 3.8% for WA, which was slightly higher than the Labour Force data for August 2006 (3.3%). Compared to other states and territories, WA’s unemployment rate was the second lowest in Australia behind the ACT (3.4%).

Local Government Areas (LGAs) in WA that experienced the strongest employment growth also recorded strong population growth. The City of Perth had the largest growth of employed persons (183.0%), with a population increase of those aged 15 years and older of 142.5%. This was well above the WA average of 30.6% increase in employed persons and a 26.0% increase in population of those aged 15 years and older.

Western Australians are working longer. The average number of hours worked per week of all employees was 36, matching the national average. The mean number of hours for full-time employees (those working 35 or more hours per week) was 46 hours per week. In the Pilbara and South Eastern regions employees worked an average of 42 and 41 hours per week respectively. The higher average is probably the result of large amounts of shift work for mining projects in these areas.

Of employed persons living in the Perth SD, 3% reported that they worked outside this area. Of these employees, 15% reported that they worked in the Mandurah LGA; 9% in the East Pilbara LGA and 9% in the Leonora LGA. Of employees usually living and working in the Perth SD, 18% reported working in the City of Perth.

Internal Migration
In the 2006 Census, 712,900 or 36% of people living in WA reported that they had moved since 2001. Most remained in the same Statistical Division (SD) (72%), 17% moved to a different SD within WA, and 9% moved interstate. Internal migration in WA differed between regions. Almost all persons (96%) who live in Perth also lived in Perth five years ago. In the Pilbara region, 20% had previously lived in Perth and 5% had previously lived in the South West SD.

WA Industry Changes
Industry and occupation groups in WA have changed dramatically over the last ten years. The mining boom has resulted in 75% employment growth in this industry from 1996 to 2006, closely followed by the Construction Industry (67%). Declining employment in Agriculture, Forestry and Fishing (6.5%) reflects the impact of drought conditions, though the national decline in these areas was much larger (down 13%).

The employment boom in WA has also resulted in growth in high skill occupations. In 2006, professional occupations increased by 47%. Occupational groups comprising professionals include Business, Human Resources and Marketing, Engineering and Science, Education and Health, ICT and Legal, Social and Welfare. All occupation groups showed an increase from the 1996 Census, except for Advanced Clerical and Service Workers, which includes Bookkeepers, Secretaries and Insurance Agents.

For further information about Census products or to obtain unpublished Census data, please contact Amy Gardos, Census Dissemination Manager on 9360 5391.