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From the graph there was a large spike in job vacancies from 2003 to 2010, accompanied by a decline in unemployment, reflecting the rapid expansion of the WA economy. This implies a current shortage of skilled labour in WA.
All this economics could lead a man (or woman) to drink and many Australians already drink alcoholic beverages on a regular basis.
So how much are we drinking?
According to Apparent Consumption of Alcohol, Australia, 2008-09 (cat. no. 4307.55.001), the apparent per capita consumption of ‘pure alcohol’ by persons aged 15 years and over in Australia was 10.1 litres per person. Of which, beer contributed 44.5%, wine 35.3%, spirits 12.8% and pre-mixed beverages 7.3%.
Now, let’s put this ‘pure alcohol’ measure into everyday volume terms. The apparent volume of beer consumed per capita was 104.7 litres per person or about a middy a day (287 mL). While the volume of wine consumed per capita was 28 litres or just over half a glass a day (77 mL).
Interestingly, it seems that there aren’t enough Aussies to drink everything that is produced domestically, with Australia being a net exporter of alcoholic beverages. From International Trade in Goods and Services, Australia (cat. no. 5368.0), Australia exported $2.3 billion of alcoholic beverages in 2009-10, while we imported $1.2 billion.
Apparent consumption estimates the amount of alcohol available (based on excise, import and sales data), but does not estimate the actual amount consumed as it does not account for factors such as waste or storage. It is not a measure of the actual amount of alcohol consumed.
So, while it seems there is a surplus of alcoholic beverages on offer, we all know that a ‘few too many’ usually results in a seedy hangover. From the National Health Survey, 2007-08 (cat. no. 4364.0), around 13% of Australians aged 15 years or over consumed alcohol at a level that posed a risk to their health in the long-term. The rate was higher for men (14%) than for women (11%).
Around 16% of men in the age groups between 18-64 years drank at risky or high risk levels, with the proportion dropping to 12% for those aged 65-74 years. However, for women the proportion drinking at risky and high risk levels sat generally around 12% for most age groups with a dip for those in their prime childbearing years, aged 25-34 years (9%).
From Australian Social Trends Dec 2009 (cat. no. 4102.0), beer was the most common drink consumed by men aged 15 years or over who drank at risky or high risk levels (85%). Spirits (36%) and ready-to-drink spirits or liqueurs (RTDs; 35%) were more popular among young men who were risky or high risk drinkers than those aged 25 years or over (18% and 10% respectively).
Women who drank at risky or high risk levels had a different pattern in terms of the type of alcohol consumed. The type of alcohol consumed by young women, aged 15-24 years, who were risky or high risk drinkers was varied, with no one type significantly more popular than any other.
However, these young women were around 4.9 times as likely to have consumed RTDs, and 3.7 times as likely to have consumed spirits, than those aged 25 years or over who mostly drank wine (82%).
The 2001 National Health and Medical Research Council Drinking guidelines, recommend no more than an average of 4 standard drinks a day for a man and 2 standard drinks a day for a woman.
So, who can afford to purchase the tipple of their choice? It seems that Perth beer drinkers are the ones benefiting from the boom and can afford to pay an annual 6.3% rise in the price of beer, while wine has increased 1.0% and spirits 1.7% This compares to an overall CPI annual increase in Perth of 3.1% from the Consumer Price Index, Australia, September quarter 2010 (cat. no. 6401.0).
Maybe the smaller increase in the price of wine reflects the fact that in 2008-09 wine grapes took up a rather large 12,446 hectares in WA involving 794 agricultural businesses, from Vineyards Estimates, Australia (cat. no. 1329.0). I’m sure that all those businesses hope that relative wine consumption increases at the expense of beer.
All the best to all our readers for the Christmas season.
Cheers in moderation!
Client Liaison Unit Hoping to avoid a hangover from the office Christmas party.
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