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1367.5 - Western Australian Statistical Indicators, Mar 2009  
Previous ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 23/04/2009   
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SECTION 3 EMPLOYMENT AND EARNINGS




Labour Force Status

  • Western Australia's unemployment rate (trend) increased from 2.9% in November 2008 to 3.6% in February 2009. This is 0.5 percentage points higher than the rate one year before. Nationally, Australia's unemployment rate stood at 4.9% in February 2009.
  • The number of unemployed persons (trend) increased from 35,000 to 44,200 persons in the February quarter 2009.
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE
Graph: UNEMPLOYMENT RATE

  • The number of employed people (trend) showed a small downturn in the February quarter (down 0.5%) although this figure rose by 2.7% over the preceding year.
  • Notwithstanding the recent downturn, there has been steady growth in the annual employment figures since the year 2000, with faster growth in the years 2005 to 2007 reflecting overall population growth as well as government policy to attract skilled migrant workers.
EMPLOYED PERSONS, Total
Graph: EMPLOYED PERSONS, Total

3 LABOUR FORCE STATUS (AGED 15 YEARS AND OVER): Trend

Employed
Unemployed
Total labour force(a)
Participation rate
Unemployment rate
Quarter
'000
'000
'000
%
%

Persons

2008
February
1 138.4
37.4
1 175.8
68.5
3.2
May
1 145.6
38.5
1 184.1
68.5
3.2
August
1 167.1
34.5
1 201.5
69.1
2.9
November
1 175.6
35.5
1 211.0
69.2
2.9
2009
February
1 169.6
44.2
1 213.9
68.9
3.6

(a) Discrepancies in total may occur due to rounding.
Source: Labour Force, Australia, cat. no. 6202.0.



Industry of employment
  • In original data terms, the industries with the largest employment losses in the February quarter 2009 were Mining (21%), Financial and insurance services (14%), Professional, scientific and technical services (12%) and Transport, postal and warehousing (6%). Some of these industries, notably Financial and insurance services; and Professional, scientific and technical services, have declined in employment since the February quarter 2008 while the movement in Mining, along with Transport, postal and warehousing, has been more volatile over this period.
  • Despite the general downturn, there was substantial growth in employee numbers in several industries. This included increases of 15% in Electricity, gas, water and waste services, 12% in Retail trade, 11% in Public administration and safety and 6% in Manufacturing. With the exception of Manufacturing, these industries have exhibited a steady growth in employment since February 2008.

4 Number of employed persons(a), By industry(b): original

2008
2009
February
November
February
'000
'000
'000

Western Australia
1 139.9
1 168.1
1 163.4
Industry
Agriculture, forestry and fishing
42.0
50.7
50.1
Mining
56.0
71.5
56.8
Manufacturing
102.8
96.7
102.9
Electricity, gas, water and waste services
13.7
19.7
22.6
Construction
125.4
124.3
122.3
Wholesale trade
34.8
41.8
42.1
Retail trade
124.9
130.4
146.4
Accommodation and food services
54.7
66.5
65.2
Transport, postal and warehousing
53.4
63.3
59.7
Information media and telecommunications
13.6
13.2
14.0
Financial and insurance services
31.5
30.1
26.0
Rental, hiring and real estate services
22.2
24.5
21.0
Professional, scientific and technical services
88.0
75.1
66.4
Administrative and support services
39.8
33.0
35.7
Public administration and safety
63.7
67.3
74.7
Education and training
86.8
78.3
77.1
Health Care and social assistance
111.8
114.3
115.1
Arts and recreation services
23.3
18.0
19.6
Other services
51.6
49.2
45.9

(a) The ANZSIC 2006 classification system replaces the existing classification ANZSIC 1993, for the periods November 1984 to the current release. Industry data will continue to be collected in the LFS to the Group (3 digit) level. For more information on the implementation of ANZSIC 2006 see Information Paper: Update on ANZSIC 2006 Implementation, 2008 (cat.no.1295.0.55.001).
(b) Industry estimates are classified to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) 2006.
Source: Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly, cat. no. 6291.0.55.003.



Occupation of employment
  • Based on original data, the occupation recording the largest decrease in employment in the February quarter 2009 was Labourers (13%). Decreases were also experienced by Professionals and Machinery operators and drivers (both down almost 8%).
  • Over the same period, employment growth occurred in other occupations including Technicians and trades workers; Clerical and administrative workers; Managers; and Sales workers, all with increases of between 5% and 7%.

5 Number of employed persons(a), By occupation(b): original

2008
2009
February
November
February
'000
'000
'000

Western Australia
1 139.9
1 168.1
1 163.4
Occupation
Managers
132.7
143.6
151.5
Professionals
234.9
222.6
205.7
Technicians and trades workers
198.0
199.4
211.6
Community and personal service workers
92.2
100.1
100.4
Clerical and administrative workers
167.3
160.4
171.6
Sales workers
101.0
108.2
114.0
Machinery operators and drivers
85.5
92.7
85.4
Labourers
128.4
141.1
123.1

(a) The ANZSCO classification system replaces the classification Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO) Second Edition, introduced in August 1996.Occupation data will continue to be collected in the LFS to the Unit Group (4 digit) level. For more information on the implementation of ANZSCO see Information Paper: ANZSCO - Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, 2005 (cat.no.1221.0).
(b) Occupation estimates are based the 2006 Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO).
Source: Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly, cat. no. 6291.0.55.003.



Employees and hours worked
  • Based on original data, the average weekly number of hours worked by employees in Western Australia (35.1) has remained steady over the last two quarters. Employees in the mining (45.7) and construction (42.4) industries continued to work longer hours on average.
  • Industries showing substantial increases in average hours worked during the February quarter were Information media and telecommunications (up 5.4 hours to 37.7 hours per week ) and Wholesale trade (up 3 hours to 39.9 hours per week). In both industries, however, the figure for the last quarter was relatively close to the February 2008 figure.
  • Average weekly hours worked decreased in other industries including Administrative and support services (down 4.1 hours to 28.9 hours per week), Other services (down 2.8 hours to 34.1 hours per week) and Agriculture, forestry and fishing (down 2.6 hours to 40.3 hours per week). Some of this decrease in working hours may be attributable to seasonal factors and the prevalence of casual labour particularly in the service industries.

6 Employees average weekly hours worked(a), By industry(b): Original

2008
2009
February
November
February

Average weekly hours worked (hours)

Agriculture, forestry and fishing
40.2
42.9
40.3
Mining
43.4
43.7
45.7
Manufacturing
40.3
38.9
39.6
Electricity, gas, water and waste services
40.6
36.0
36.3
Construction
40.7
42.0
42.4
Wholesale trade
38.7
36.9
39.9
Retail trade
29.0
28.4
28.6
Accommodation and food services
28.7
29.2
28.9
Transport, postal and warehousing
37.7
39.3
38.0
Information media and telecommunications
37.2
32.3
37.7
Financial and insurance services
36.1
36.7
35.9
Rental, hiring and real estate services
37.3
37.0
37.2
Professional, scientific and technical services
39.7
36.9
37.6
Administrative and support services
31.8
33.0
28.9
Public administration and safety
34.4
33.3
35.0
Education and training
33.9
31.6
32.4
Health Care and social assistance
29.2
29.4
29.3
Arts and recreation services
30.2
29.3
30.7
Other services
36.0
36.9
34.1
Total
35.5
35.1
35.1

(a) The ANZSIC 2006 classification system replaces the existing classification ANZSIC 1993, for the periods November 1984 to the current release. Industry data will continue to be collected in the LFS to the Group (3 digit) level. For more information on the implementation of ANZSIC 2006 see Information Paper: Update on ANZSIC 2006 Implementation, 2008 (cat.no.1295.0.55.001).
(b) Industry estimates are classified to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC) 2006.
Source: Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly, cat. no. 6291.0.55.003.
  • From an occupation perspective, employees in managerial occupations consistently work the longest hours, averaging more than 43 hours a week for the last two quarters. They are closely followed by Machine operators and drivers; and Technicians and trades workers who worked an average of 42.3 hours and 39.9 hours respectively in the February quarter.
  • By contrast, people employed as Community and personal service workers, Sales workers and Labourers averaged less than 30 hours a week in the last quarter. Over the previous year these employees consistently worked fewer hours than employees in other occupations, almost certainly reflecting the greater proportion of part-time workers.

7 Employees average weekly hours worked(a), By occupation(b): Original

2008
2009
February
November
February

Average weekly hours worked (hours)

Managers
43.1
43.5
43.3
Professionals
36.3
35.9
36.8
Technicians and trades workers
40.4
38.7
39.9
Community and personal service workers
28.2
27.4
26.0
Clerical and administrative workers
33.3
32.8
32.3
Sales workers
27.5
26.6
27.5
Machinery operators and drivers
41.8
43.5
42.3
Labourers
30.8
31.1
29.8
Total
35.5
35.1
35.1

(a) The ANZSCO classification system replaces the classification Australian Standard Classification of Occupations (ASCO) Second Edition, introduced in August 1996.Occupation data will continue to be collected in the LFS to the Unit Group (4 digit) level. For more information on the implementation of ANZSCO see Information Paper: ANZSCO - Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations, 2005 (cat.no.1221.0).
(b) Occupation estimates are based the 2006 Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO).
Source: Labour Force, Australia, Detailed, Quarterly, cat. no. 6291.0.55.003.



Average weekly earnings
  • In trend terms Average Weekly Earnings (AWE) of full-time adult employees rose 1.6% to $1,316 in the November quarter in Western Australia.
  • Ordinary time earnings for full-time adult employees rose for both males (1.7% or $25 per week) and females (1.9% or $19 per week) in the quarter.

8 Average Weekly Earnings Of Employees: All series

Full-time adult ordinary time earnings
Quarter
MALES
FEMALES
PERSONS

ORIGINAL ($)

2007
November
1 330.20
972.30
1 216.60
2008
August
1 421.00
1 024.20
1 291.50
November
1 452.80
1 057.10
1 321.40

SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ($)

2007
November
1 328.60
970.90
1 215.10
2008
August
1 422.40
1 026.20
1 293.20
November
1 451.20
1 054.70
1 319.40

TREND ($)

2007
November
1 337.70
973.20
1 221.90
2008
August
1 423.20
1 031.10
1 295.20
November
1 447.70
1 050.40
1 315.70

Source: Average weekly Earnings, Australia, cat. no. 6302.0.
  • Industries with the largest percentage increase in average weekly earnings of full-time adult employees in the November quarter were Retail Trade, Accommodation, Cafes and Restaurants and Wholesale Trade. These industries had increases around 5% to 6%.
  • The industries where average weekly earnings decreased in the November quarter included Health and Community Services (down 2.2%) and Finance and Insurance (down 1.1%).

9 Average weekly earnings of employees, By industry: Original

2007
2008
ANZSIC Division
November
August
November

Full-time adult ordinary time earnings ($)

Mining
1 978.30
2 135.80
2 136.40
Manufacturing
1 152.60
1 194.50
1 213.10
Electricity, gas and water supply
1 498.80
1 575.70
1 635.10
Construction
1 206.30
1 323.20
1 328.40
Wholesale trade
1 144.90
1 224.10
1 288.60
Retail trade
896.00
927.10
985.70
Accommodation, cafes and restaurants
906.10
826.80
878.40
Transport and storage
1 005.60
1 218.60
1 265.90
Communication services
1 044.00
1 028.10
1 039.20
Finance and insurance
1 161.70
1 233.80
1 219.80
Property and business services
1 392.10
1 423.60
1 443.60
Government administration and defence
1 089.40
1 103.00
1 132.10
Education
1 124.10
1 181.10
1 228.20
Health and community services
1 137.90
1 238.50
1 211.70
Cultural and recreational services
1 131.60
1 113.60
1 139.70
Personal and other services
1 035.20
1 134.30
1 173.80
Total
1 216.60
1 291.50
1 321.40

Source: Average Weekly Earnings, Australia, cat. no. 6302.0.



Industrial disputes
  • For the December quarter 2008, there were 6 disputes in Western Australia, one fewer than in the previous quarter.
  • The number of employees involved in industrial disputes in Western Australia in the December quarter was about 1,200, which was three times more than in the September quarter.
  • Approximately 1,800 working days were lost due to industrial disputation. However, this quarterly figure is very volatile.

10 INDUSTRIAL DISPUTES WHICH OCCURRED DURING THE PERIOD: Original

Number of disputes
Number of employees involved
Working days lost
Working days lost per thousand employees
Reference period
no.
'000
'000
no.

2007
16
2.1
3.1
np
2008
30
11.9
10.4
np
2007
September
5
0.5
0.9
0.9
December
np
0.6
1.3
1.3
2008
March
9
8.9
6.8
6.9
June
10
1.6
1.4
1.4
September
7
0.4
0.4
0.4
December
6
1.2
1.8
1.8

np not available for publication but included in totals where applicable, unless otherwise indicated
Source: ABS data available on request, Industrial Disputes, Australia, cat. no. 6321.0.55.001.



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