6209.5 - Labour Mobility and Intentions, Western Australia, Oct 2008  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 10/06/2009  First Issue
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June 10, 2009

Workers on the move in WA: ABS

In the years preceding the recent global economic downturn, Western Australia experienced high levels of labour mobility, according to figures released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

In the three years to October 2008, 148,900 made WA their home (55,700 from interstate and 93,100 from overseas). Of these, 46% moved to WA for work opportunities.

As at October 2008, 34,000 Perth residents worked outside Perth all or most of the time. About 94% of these were men and over half were working in the mining industry.

Almost 40% of WA employees had been in their current job for less than two years. Of these, 7 of every 10 had ceased a previous job within the previous two years.

More than 6 in 10 employees who changed job in the past two years had moved to a job in a different industry. Many people moved to the Mining industry including those previously employed in Information media and telecommunications (25%); Construction (17%) and Administrative support (13%).

The most common reasons given by employees for changing their job were 'to obtain a better job/just wanted a change' (48%); 'unsatisfactory work arrangements' (20%) and 'family reasons' (12%).

About 10% of those employed intended to leave their current job within the next twelve months. Of these:
    • almost 1 in 5 15–24 year olds and 14% of 25–34 year olds intended to change jobs while significantly less older workers intended to change (about 7%);
    • approximately two-fifths of those intending to change employment were planning to move to a job in a different industry;
    • the retail industry accounted for about 22% of those intending to change industry;
    • industry change intentions were more common among younger job changers; and
    • over half of those working without a post school qualification intended moving to a job in a different industry.

The main reason given for intending to leave a current job was to obtain a better job or simply a change (52%). A further 11% were intending to leave for family reasons and 10% were leaving because of unsatisfactory work arrangements/pay/hours. Leaving for family reasons was substantially higher among women (18%) than men (6%).