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1367.5 - Western Australian Statistical Indicators, Mar 2008  
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FEATURE ARTICLE 2: RETAIL INDUSTRY IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA


INTRODUCTION

The retail industry employs more workers (150,000) than any other industry in Western Australia and accounts for around 5% ($6 billion) of Gross State Product (GSP) each year. Retail trade has been the focus of much discussion and review in Western Australia in recent years, as it remains the only state without extended retail trading hours. This article will examine various performance indicators of Western Australia's retail industry during a decade of restricted trading hours and will compare it to the performance of other states where trading laws have been deregulated.



RETAIL TRADING HOURS IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA

The Retail Trading Hours Act 1987 applies to retail shops in Western Australia south of the 26th parallel. Retail trading hours are set down for three categories of retail: general retail shops; small shops (exempted general retail shops); and special retail shops. The trading hours of restaurants, cafes and takeaway food shops are not covered by the Act.


General retail shops are all retail businesses that are not categorised as either small shops or special retail shops. They are allowed to trade between 8.00am and 6.00pm on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, between 8.00am and 9.00pm on Thursday and between 8.00am and 5.00pm on Saturday. These shops cannot open on Sundays or public holidays.


Expanded general retail hours are available to car yards; shops in the central tourism precincts of Perth and Fremantle; those outside of the Perth metropolitan area and metropolitan local government authorities; and metropolitan shopping centres during special events. By comparison, general retail shops in other states and territories are permitted to trade, without restriction, seven days a week. Perth is the only capital city with restricted Sunday trading.


Small shops, or exempted general retail shops, are shops owned by up to six people who operate no more than three retail shops, and in which a maximum of ten people work at any one time. They may sell goods other than motor vehicles. They are permitted to trade up to 24 hours a day and seven days a week.


Special retail shops are considered necessary for emergency, convenience or recreational supplies and include newsagencies, bookshops, pharmacies, garden nurseries, hardware, home improvement shops, video shops, art and craft shops, souvenir shops, duty free shops, shops at sporting venues, boating shops, motor vehicle spare parts shops and shops at international standard hotels. These shops may trade between 6.00am and 11.30pm seven days a week. Service station trading hours are completely deregulated in all areas.



ECONOMIC GROWTH AND HOUSEHOLD CONSUMPTION SPENDING

It is important to note that this analysis of Western Australia's retail industry is during a period of strong economic growth having a positive impact on retail spending. The retail industries of some other states have not had the same positive influence (with the exception of Queensland). A decade of strong economic growth in Western Australia, particularly over the 5 years from 2001 to 2006, has helped fuel retail spending in the state. GSP per capita increased 31% ($12,600) to $53,000 in Western Australia from June 1996 to June 2006.

REAL GROSS STATE PRODUCT PER CAPITA, Western Australia
Graph: Real Gross State Product Per Capita, Western Australia



Strong economic growth led to increased spending by households between 1996-97 and 2006-07. Much of household spending, which rose 52% ($19 billion), or 4% ($2 billion) per year (on average) in real terms, was directed toward the retail industry.

REAL HOUSEHOLD CONSUMPTION SPENDING(a), Western Australia
Graph: Real Household Consumption Spending(a), Western Australia




USE OF CREDIT

Further fuelling growth in household spending has been the greater use of credit and personal loans to fund consumption expenditure in Western Australia between 1996-97 and 2006-07. Revolving credit (or the value of new and increased credit limits) quadrupled (up 298%) to $6.3 billion in current terms in Western Australia, with much of that growth occurring in the last two years. The value of fixed personal loans for the purchase of household goods doubled from 1996-97 to 2006-07 (up 97% to $0.2 billion) and personal loans for motor vehicles rose 20% to $1.4 billion.

VALUE OF REVOLVING CREDIT(a), Western Australia
Graph: Value of revolving credit(a), Western Australia




RETAIL TURNOVER BY INDUSTRY GROUP

Over the 10 years to 2006-07, retail turnover in Western Australia rose by 61% ($9 billion) to $24 billion in real terms. On average, retail turnover grew 5% ($900 million) per year. There was a small decline in retail turnover of 1.2% ($196 million) in 2000-01 coinciding with the introduction of the GST. Retail turnover, at the national level, rose by 52% over the 10 year period.


Western Australia recorded the equal second highest rate of increase in retail turnover along with Victoria (61%). Queensland (72%) had the greatest proportionate rise. The remaining states of New South Wales (36%), Tasmania (43%) and South Australia (49%) recorded significantly lower increases.

REAL RETAIL TUROVER(a), Western Australia
Graph: Real retail turnover(a), Western Australia



In 2006-07, Western Australia's retail spending was mainly on food (39%), household goods (19%) and hospitality and services (14%). These proportions were much the same as in 1996-97. Food retailing includes supermarkets, grocery stores, takeaway food outlets and other specialised food retailing. Household goods retailing comprises furniture, floor coverings and domestic hardware, houseware, appliances and recorded music. Hospitality and services consists of hotels, licensed pubs, cafes, restaurants and services such as video hire outlets, hairdressing and beauty salons.

RETAIL TURNOVER(a) BY INDUSTRY GROUP, Western Australia - 2006-07
Graph: Retail turnover(a) By industry group, Western Australia—2006–07



The industry groups of food, household goods and hospitality and services drove most (74%) of the growth in retail turnover in Western Australia between 1996-97 and 2006-07. Food retailing increased $4.3 billion (81%), household goods retailing rose $2.4 billion (106%) and hospitality and services grew $1.5 billion (87%).

RETAIL TURNOVER(a) BY INDUSTRY GROUP, Western Australia
Graph: Retail turnover(a) By industry group, Western Australia




SUMMARY OF RETAIL TRADE OPERATIONS BY STATE

Western Australia accounted for 10% ($34 billion) of the total income generated by the Australian retail industry in 2005-06. This proportion was in line with Western Australia's share of the Australian population in June 2006 (10%). The larger retail markets of New South Wales (32%), Victoria (25%) and Queensland (20%) also had shares about equal to their proportion of the Australian population. Therefore, despite Western Australia's restricted retail trading hours, its retail industry generated an equal share of national retail income relative to the size of its population.

RETAIL TRADE INCOME AND POPULATION(a), By state, Proportion of Australian total - 2005-06
Graph: Retail trade income and population(a), By state, Proportion of Australian total—2005–06



Western Australia's retail industry made an operating profit of $1.7 billion, before tax, in 2005-06, accounting for 13% of Australia's retail industry profits. This proportion was notably higher than its share of the Australian retail market (10%). New South Wales (29%) and Victoria (24%) had lower proportions than their share of the national retail market of 33% and 25% respectively.

RETAIL TRADE, OPERATING PROFIT BEFORE TAX, By state - 2005-06
Graph: Retail trade, operating profit before tax. By state—2005–06



Between 2002-03 and 2005-06, Western Australia's retail industry recorded the largest proportionate increases in business income (up 26.1% or $7 billion) and operating profits, which include change in inventories, (up 63% or $0.7 billion) among the states. Following Western Australia, South Australia's total income was up 25.8% and Victoria with operating profits up 41%.

RETAIL TRADE, Summary of Operations ($m), by State

2002-03
2003-04
2004-05
2005-06
Change 2002-03 to 2005-06
% change 2002-03 to 2005-06
($Million)
($Million)
($Million)
($Million)
($Million)
%

NEW SOUTH WALES
Wages and salaries
9 598
9 847
10 393
10 790
1 192
12.4
Total income
93 979
97 017
104 151
104 438
10 759
11.5
Total expenses
91 450
94 421
100 989
100 819
9 369
10.2
Operating profit before tax
2 877
3 259
3 609
3 753
879
30.4
VICTORIA
Wages and salaries
6 892
7 360
7 779
8 347
1 455
21.1
Total income
66 971
73 550
78 300
81 904
14 933
22.3
Total expenses
65 053
71 531
75 664
78 901
13 848
21.3
Operating profit before tax
2 271
2 748
3 048
3 201
930
41.0
QUEENSLAND
Wages and salaries
5 307
5 654
6 228
6 541
1 234
23.3
Total income
52 726
57 398
66 736
64 143
11 417
21.7
Total expenses
51 051
55 377
64 387
61 619
10 568
20.7
Operating profit before tax
2 021
2 496
2 827
2 792
771
38.1
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Wages and salaries
1 944
2 071
2 236
2 490
546
28.1
Total income
18 961
20 905
22 897
23 860
4 899
25.8
Total expenses
18 337
20 153
22 152
22 900
4 563
24.9
Operating profit before tax
730
841
859
994
264
36.2
WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Wages and salaries
2 689
2 871
3 205
3 279
590
21.9
Total income
26 711
30 713
34 706
33 672
6 961
26.1
Total expenses
25 851
29 581
33 290
32 200
6 349
24.6
Operating profit before tax
1 044
1 348
1 676
1 696
652
62.5
TASMANIA
Wages and salaries
542
614
660
708
166
30.6
Total income
5 388
6 150
6 717
6 757
1 369
25.4
Total expenses
5 192
5 907
6 403
6 446
1 254
24.2
Operating profit before tax
235
283
361
319
84
35.7

Australian Industry, Experimental Estimates, cat. no. 8155.0.



AVERAGE RETAIL COMMODITY PRICES

Perth consumers generally pay more for retail commodities than consumers in other state capital cities. Across a range of 52 selected retail commodities, Perth had the highest average price for 20 (39%) of those items in the June quarter 2007, followed by Hobart with 14 (27%). Other cities had highest average prices ranging from 4 items (8%) in Adelaide to 8 items (15%) in Melbourne.


In the June quarter 2007, Perth consumers paid the highest average prices across the states for meat; processed fruit and vegetables; and alcoholic drinks. In particular, they paid more for lamb chops ($0.37 more per kg); pork chops ($0.84 more per kg); chicken ($0.57 more per kg); sausages ($0.30 more per kg); and bacon ($1.00 more per 250g).


Perth consumers also paid more for processed peaches ($0.14 more per 825g); pineapples ($0.09 more per 450g); and peas ($0.03 more per 500g), as well as low alcohol beer ($3.63 more per carton); full strength beer ($0.86 more per carton); and a nip of scotch in a public bar ($0.67 more per 30ml). Among the state capitals, Perth consumers also paid the highest average retail prices for cheese; flour; rice; oranges; bananas; eggs; baby food; toilet paper; low alcohol draught beer served in public bars; and toilet soap.


However, consumers in Perth paid the lowest average retail prices across the states for biscuits ($0.13 less per 250g); rump steak ($1.19 less per kg); carrots ($0.39 less per kg); onions ($0.19 less per kg); chocolate ($0.43 less per 250g); and dishwashing detergent ($0.29 less per 450ml) in the June quarter 2007.



NUMBER OF BUSINESSES OPERATING IN RETAIL TRADE

There were 27,000 businesses operating in Western Australia's retail industry in 2006-07, 4% (1,100) more than in 2003-04. This growth rate was the second highest among the states behind Queensland with 6% (2,900). The remaining states had much lower rates of growth in retail business numbers, ranging from 1% (800) in New South Wales to 3% (2,300) in Victoria.

NUMBER OF BUSINESSES, Retail trade - Western Australia
Graph: Number of businesses, Retail trade—Western Australia



In 2006-07, Western Australia's retail industry was divided into personal and household goods retailing (41%), motor vehicle retailing and services (22%), food retailing (19%) and accommodation, cafes and restaurants (18%).

CONCENTRATION OF BUSINESSES, Retail trade - Western Australia - 2006-07
Graph: Concentration of businesses, Retail trade—Western Australia—2006–07



Among personal and household goods retailing, other personal and household goods retailing had the most operating businesses (4,563), including retailing n.e.c. (2,352), domestic appliance retailing (1,224) and clothing retailing (1,044). Food retailing mainly comprised businesses in specialised food retailing (4,455), with almost half being takeaway food retailing (2,094). There were many more businesses in motor vehicle services (5,133) than motor vehicle retailing (732), while cafes and restaurants (2,793) dominated accommodation, cafe and restaurant retailing.

RETAIL TRADE, Counts of Businesses, Western Australia, 2006-07

Business Counts
No.
%

Food
Supermarket and grocery stores
705
2.6
Specialised food
4 455
16.5
Total
5 160
19.1
Personal and household goods
Personal and household goods
Department stores
24
0.1
Clothing and soft goods
1 362
5.0
Furniture houseware and appliances
2 775
10.3
Recreational goods
1 623
6.0
Other personal and household goods
4 563
16.9
Household equipment repair services
654
2.4
Total
11 001
40.7
Motor vehicles
Motor vehicles
732
2.7
Motor vehicle services
5 133
19.0
Total
5 865
21.7
Accommodation, cafes and restaurants
Accommodation
1 329
4.9
Pubs, taverns and bars
591
2.2
Cafes and restaurants
2 793
10.3
Clubs (Hospitality)
270
1.0
Total
4 983
18.4
Retail trade - Total
27 009
100.0

Counts of Australian Businesses, cat. no. 8165.0.


The industry classes, within the industries listed above, that recorded the largest increases in business numbers in Western Australian retail trade between 2003-04 and 2006-07 were cafes and restaurants (243 or 10%); takeaway food retailing (222 or 12%); clothing retailing (138 or 15%); automotive repair and services n.e.c. (135 or 5%); and car retailing (114 or 28%). There were major declines, however, in automotive fuel retailing (down 135 or 21%) and domestic appliance retailing (down 114 or 9%).



SMALL BUSINESS IN THE RETAIL INDUSTRY

More than half (52% or 14,040) of the businesses operating in Western Australia's retail industry in 2006-07 were small businesses (1-19 employed persons). The remainder were non-employing businesses (38% or 10,347), medium-sized businesses (20-199 employed persons) (10% or 2,556) and large businesses (200 or more employed persons) (0.3% or 93).

RETAIL TRADE, Number of Small Businesses (1-19 employed persons)

2003-04
2004-05
2005-06
2006-07
Change from 2003-04 to 2006-07
No.
%

NEW SOUTH WALES
Small businesses (no.)
39 720
46 704
48 471
50 313
10 593
26.7
Proportion of total businesses (%)
43
51
52
54
11 pts
na
VICTORIA
Small businesses (no.)
28 569
33 663
34 701
36 723
8 154
28.5
Proportion of total businesses (%)
43
49
51
53
10 pts
na
QUEENSLAND
Small businesses (no.)
21 768
26 109
27 690
29 265
7 497
34.4
Proportion of total businesses (%)
42
49
51
53
11 pts
na
SOUTH AUSTRALIA
Small businesses (no.)
7 959
9 279
9 405
9 780
1 821
22.9
Proportion of total businesses (%)
42
48
49
51
9 pts
na
WESTERN AUSTRALIA
Small businesses (no.)
10 476
12 375
13 107
14 040
3 564
34.0
Proportion of total businesses (%)
40
47
50
52
12 pts
na
TASMANIA
Small businesses (no.)
2 856
3 258
3 453
3 597
741
25.9
Proportion of total businesses (%)
45
51
53
56
11 pts
na

Counts of Australian Businesses, cat. no. 8165.0.


In 2006-07, the proportion of small businesses operating in Western Australia's retail industry (52%) was similar to the proportion operating in the retail industries of New South Wales (54%), Victoria (53%), Queensland (53%), South Australia (51%) and Tasmania (56%). All states recorded increased proportions of small retail businesses between 2003-04 and 2006-07: New South Wales (43% to 54%), Victoria (43% to 53%), Queensland (42% to 53%), South Australia (42% to 51%), Western Australia (40% to 52%), narrowly the highest proportionate increase, and Tasmania (45% to 56%).

PROPORTION OF SMALL BUSINESSES(a), Retail trade
Graph: Proportion of small businesses(a), Retail trade



The number of small businesses operating in Western Australia grew by 34.0% (3,564) between 2003-04 and 2006-07, the second highest percentage rise after Queensland (34.4% or 7,497). Growth in retail small business in other states ranged from just under 23% (1,821) in South Australia to 29.5% (8,154) in Victoria.

NUMBER OF SMALL BUSINESSES(a), Retail trade - Western Australia
Graph: Number of small businesses(a), Retail trade—Western Australia




EMPLOYMENT

Retail trade employs more people in Western Australia than any other industry. In 2006-07, 14% (155,000) of workers were employed in retail trade (201,500 when including accommodation, cafes and restaurants), followed by property and business services (12%), construction (10%) and health and community services (9.6%). These results were very similar to the Australian average where retail trade (14%), property and business services (12%) and manufacturing (10%) accounted for the highest proportions of employed persons in 2006-07.

PROPORTION OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA'S TOTAL EMPLOYMENT, By industry - 2006-07
Graph: Proportion of Western Australia's total employment. By industry—2006–07



Between 1996-97 and 2006-07, retail industry employment grew by nearly 23% (28,400) in Western Australia, higher than the national rise of 21%. Among the states, Western Australia's percentage growth ranked second behind Queensland with 34% (83,100). The remaining states recorded growth ranging from 8% (2,600) in Tasmania to 20% (18,300) in South Australia. The larger states of New South Wales (19% or 74,800) and Victoria (15% or 47,700) recorded increases below the Australian average (21%).

TOTAL EMPLOYED PERSONS, Retail trade - Western Australia
Graph: Total employed persons, Retail trade—Western Australia



In 2006-07, employment in Western Australia's retail industry (including accommodation, cafes and restaurants) was concentrated in specialised food retailing (16% or 32,000), supermarket and grocery stores (14% or 27,000) and cafes and restaurants (12% or 23,000).

NUMBER OF EMPLOYED PERSONS, Retail Industry, Western Australia

1996-97
2006-07
Change 1996-97 to 2006-07
% change 1996-97 to 2006-07
Selected industry group
No.
No.
No.
%

Specialised food retailing
22 317
31 773
9 456
42.4
Supermarket and grocery stores
22 895
27 435
4 541
19.8
Cafes and restaurants
18 599
23 381
4 781
25.7
Motor vehicle services
22 471
17 618
-4 853
-21.6
Furniture, houseware and appliance retailing
11 442
17 221
5 779
50.5
Other personal and household good retailing
15 225
15 778
553
3.6
Accommodation
10 845
13 353
2 508
23.1
Clothing and soft good retailing
8 827
11 448
2 620
29.7
Department stores
9 163
10 226
1 063
11.6
Recreational good retailing
6 662
8 523
1 861
27.9
Motor vehicle retailing
5 296
8 419
3 123
59.0
Pubs, taverns and bars
5 433
8 308
2 875
52.9
Household equipment repair services
1 693
1 945
252
14.9
Clubs (hospitality)
2 355
1 612
-743
-31.6

Labour Force, Australia, cat. no. 6202.0.


Between 1996-97 and 2006-07, employment growth was highest in specialised food retailing (up 9,456 or 42.4%), followed by furniture, houseware and appliance retailing (up 5,779 or 50.5%) and cafes and restaurants (up 4,781 or 25.7%). There were two industry groups showing declines in employment over the period: motor vehicle services (down 4,853 or 21.6%) and clubs (down 743 or 31.6%).



MIX OF MALE-FEMALE WORKERS

In 2006-07, there were approximately 14,400 more females (84,400) employed in Western Australia's retail industry than males (70,000). Females accounted for 55% of employed persons and males 45%. Female employment grew 33% (21,000) between 1996-97 and 2006-07, almost three times the rate of male employment (up 12% or 7,000). In 1996-97 the ratio of males to females was virtually 50:50. In the national retail industry, male employment grew 15% (higher than in Western Australia) and female employment rose 27% (lower than in Western Australia). The mix of male and female workers in Australian retail trade was similar to that of Western Australia in both 1996-97 and 2006-07.

EMPLOYED PERSONS IN RETAIL TRADE, By sex - Western Australia
Graph: Employed persons in retail trade, By sex—Western Australia




AGE OF WORKERS

In 2006-07, 40% of workers in Western Australia's retail industry were aged 15-24, 34% were aged 25-44 and 26% were aged 45 and over. The proportion of workers aged 15-24 (41% in 1996-97) and 25-44 (38% in 1996-97) decreased, while the proportion of those aged 45 and over (21% in 1996-97) increased. These proportions were very similar to those of the Australian retail industry.


Between 1996-97 and 2006-07, employment growth was strongest in Western Australia's retail industry in the age group 45 and over (up 47% or 12,700), followed by those aged 15-24 (up 21% or 10,800) and 25-44 (up 10% or 4,900). This growth was in line with national increases.

NUMBER OF EMPLOYED PERSONS IN RETAIL TRADE, By age - Western Australia
Graph: Number of employed persons in retail trade, By age—Western Australia




HOURS WORKED

In 2006-07, there were almost as many part-time workers (74,400) in Western Australia's retail industry as full-time workers (80,200). Part-time workers (up 34% or 18,800) have increased almost two and half times the rate of full-time workers (up 14% or 9,800) since 1996-97. These increases correlate closely with the Australian retail industry, with part-time employment up 30% and full-time employment up 14%.

NUMBER OF FULL TIME AND PART TIME WORKERS, Retail trade - Western Australia
Graph: Number of full time and part time workers, Retail trade—Western Australia



In Western Australian retail trade, the average weekly hours worked by those employed full-time (43) and part-time (16) were very similar to the national averages of 43 hours per week and 15 hours per week respectively. Average weekly hours worked by retail workers declined for full-time workers from 44 hours in 1996-97 but have increased from 14 hours for part-time workers. These changes reflect of the changes in average weekly hours worked at the national level.



LABOUR PRODUCTIVITY

Labour productivity is measured by the ratio of output (industry total factor income) to labour input (hours worked). Labour productivity in Western Australia's retail industry rose approximately 50% between 1996-97 and 2006-07. This result was lower than the 62% rise in labour productivity in the Australian retail industry. It is important to note that part of the rise in labour productivity is due to 'capital deepening' (an increase in the ratio of capital to labour).

LABOUR PRODUCTIVITY(a), Retail trade
Graph: Labour productivity(a), Retail trade




WAGE PRICE INDEX OF TOTAL HOURLY RATES OF PAY (EXCLUDING BONUSES)

The wage price index measures changes over time in the price of labour in the Australian labour market by following changes to a fixed 'basket' of labour services and is, therefore, unaffected by changes in the quality or quantity of work performed (i.e. pure price changes).


Generally, since 2006, wage price growth in Western Australia's retail trade industry has outpaced growth for the Australian level. From the June quarter 2006 to the December quarter 2007, wage prices in Western Australia's retail trade industry grew by 7.8% (or an average of 1.3% per quarter) compared to 6.4% (or 1.0% per quarter) for the Australian level.

WAGE PRICE INDEX, Total hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses - Retail trade
Graph: Wage price index, Total hourly rates of pay excluding bonuses—Retail trade




AVERAGE WEEKLY EARNINGS (FULL-TIME ADULT ORDINARY TIME EARNINGS)

Average weekly earnings measures average gross (before tax) earnings of employees that may be affected not only by changes in the level of earnings of employees but also by changes in the overall composition of wage and salary earners in the labour force.


Between 1996-97 and 2003-04, average weekly earnings, of full-time adult employees in Western Australia's retail industry, were consistently higher than the national average. In 1996-97, average earnings in Western Australia was $535 per week compared to $530 per week across Australia. Western Australia's retail industry earnings rose to $711 per week in 2003-04, while the national average increased to $702 per week. However, after 2003-04, Western Australia's average weekly earnings fell below the Australian average for the retail industry. Between 2004-05 and 2006-07, average weekly retail industry earnings rose from $715 to $769 in Western Australia, compared to the national average increase from $732 to $812.


In overall growth terms, average weekly earnings, of full-time adult employees, in Western Australia's retail industry grew 44% ($234) between 1996-97 and 2006-07, while nationally they grew 53% ($282). Over the three years 2004-05 to 2006-07, however, growth in average weekly earnings in Western Australian retail trade grew by only 8% ($58), half the rate of national earnings in retail trade (up 16% or $109).

AVERAGE WEEKLY EARNINGS, Adult ordinary full time earnings - Retail trade
Graph: Average weekly earnings, Adult ordinary full time earnings—Retail trade




SUMMARY OF WESTERN AUSTRALIA'S RETAIL INDUSTRY
  • Western Australia's strong economic growth over the last 10 years has had a positive impact on retail spending with GSP per capita increasing by 31% from June 1996 to June 2006.
  • Increased spending by Western Australian households rose by 52% ($19 billion), or 4% ($2 billion) per year between 1996 and 2006 which was largely directed to the retail industry.
  • Increased household spending has also coincided with growth in the use of credit and personal loans. Revolving credit quadrupled to $6.3 billion in Western Australia between 1996-97 and 2006-07. Meanwhile, the value of fixed personal loans for purchasing household goods doubled over the same period (up 97% to $0.2 billion), and rose 20% to $1.4 million for motor vehicles.
  • Retail turnover in Western Australia rose by 61% to $24 billion in real terms between 1996-97 and 2006-07, an average of 5% ($900 million) per year.
  • The industry groups of food, household goods and hospitality and services accounted for 74% of retail turnover growth between 1996-97 and 2006-07.
  • Western Australia accounted for 10% ($34 billion) of the retail industry total income 2005-06, which corresponds to Western Australia's population share (10%).
  • Between 2002-03 and 2005-06, Western Australia's retail industry had the largest proportionate increases in business income (up 26.1% or $7 billion) of all states.
  • Perth consumers generally paid more for retail commodities than consumers in other state capital cities. In the June quarter 2007, Perth consumers paid the highest average prices across the states for meat; processed fruit and vegetables; and alcoholic drinks.
  • Western Australia recorded the second highest growth rate (behind Queensland) in the number of operating businesses between 2003-04 and 2006-07 (4% or 1,100 businesses). Industries recording the largest increases in business numbers were car retailing (28%), clothing retailing (15%) and takeaway food retailing (12%).
  • More than half (52%) of operating businesses in Western Australia's retail industry in 2006-07 were small businesses, which was similar to the proportion operating in New South Wales (53%), Victoria (53%) and Queensland (53%).
  • The number of small businesses operating in Western Australia grew by 34.0% between 2003-04 and 2006-07, the second highest after Queensland (34.4%).
  • Retail trade employs more people in Western Australia than any other industry. In 2006-07 14% (155,000) workers were employed in retail trade.
  • Retail industry employment grew by nearly 23% in Western Australia between 1996-97 and 2006-07, higher than the national rise of 21%.
  • Females accounted for 55% of workers employed in Western Australia's retail industry. Female employment grew by 33% between 1996-97 and 2006-07.
  • The majority of workers in the retail industry were aged between 15 and 24 years (40%) and a further 34% aged between 25 and 44 years.
  • There were almost as many part-time workers in Western Australia's retail industry as full-time workers. The average weekly hours worked by full-time workers was 43 hours and 16 hours for part-time workers.
  • From the June quarter 2006 to the December quarter 2007, wage prices in Western Australia's retail trade industry grew by 7.8% (or an average of 1.3% per quarter) compared to 6.4% (or 1.0% per quarter) for the Australian level.
  • The average weekly earnings of full-time adult employees in Western Australia's retail industry grew 44% between 1996-97 and 2006-07, while nationally they grew 53%.

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