WESTERN AUSTRALIA STATISTICAL SUMMARY
Population and Social Trends
Employment and Earnings
- By December 2008, the estimated resident population of Western Australia had risen to 2.2 million, representing a quarterly increase of 0.7%.
- In the December quarter 2008, the principal component of population growth was overseas migration, which brought an additional 9,700 people (net) to the state.
- In the ten years to 2007, the median age at first marriage in Western Australia steadily increased, to 30.0 years for males and 27.8 years for females.
- Since 2002, the total fertility rate (TFR) has trended upwards from 1.7 to 2.0 babies per woman. This increase is the result of higher fertility among women aged 30 years and over.
- In 2007, the main causes of death were cancer (malignant neoplasms), ischaemic heart disease and stroke, together accounting for more than half (54%) of all deaths.
- The number of unemployed persons in May 2009 grew for the eighth successive month to 61,200 persons (trend).
- In May 2009, the unemployment rate in Western Australia was 5.0% in trend terms, having risen from 4.1% over a three month period. However, this was considerably lower than the national unemployment rate, which grew to 5.7% in May 2009.
- The average weekly number of hours worked by employees decreased by 0.6 hours to 34.5 hours in the May quarter 2009 (original).
- Latest trend figures show the average full-time ordinary time earnings of adult employees rose by 1.7% to $1,340 per week during the February quarter 2009.
- In seasonally adjusted terms, state final demand fell 2.3% in the March quarter 2009 to just under $35 billion.
- In trend terms, state final demand decreased by 0.4% over the same period.
- Perth's Consumer Price Index (CPI) fell 0.1% in the March quarter 2009. Financial and insurance services (down 5.9%) was the most significant contributor to the March decrease, with deposits and loan facilities prices falling by almost 14%.
- In the March quarter 2009, the price index for established houses in Perth declined for the fifth successive quarter. The fall of 3.6% was considerably higher than previous falls of 2.2% in the September quarter and 2.5% in the December quarter.
- In the same quarter, the price index for project homes in Perth decreased 0.4%, the first decrease since March 2001.
International Merchandise Trade
- In seasonally adjusted terms, retail turnover in Western Australia fell by 2.4% in April 2009 following an increase (2.2%) in March 2009.
- In trend terms, there was a steady decrease in the sales of new motor vehicles in the 15 months to May 2009. Over that period, the number of vehicles sold fell by almost 22%, to 8,055 vehicles.
Investment and Finance
- In the March quarter 2009, Western Australia's international trade surplus was more than $14 billion. This was 41% higher than the surplus for the same quarter of the previous year ($10 billion).
- China has continued to be the major export destination, with the value of goods received from Western Australia rising to $7.6 billion in the March quarter 2009.
- The United Kingdom has overtaken Japan as the second major export destination, with the value of goods received in the March quarter ($4 billion) more than doubling since March 2008.
- Private new capital expenditure in Western Australia rose by almost 1.3% in trend chain volume terms in the March quarter 2009, to just over $7 billion. Investment in buildings and structures accounted for just over $5 billion of this new expenditure.
- In April 2009, the total number of dwellings financed in trend terms continued its steady climb from September 2008, exceeding 7,000 for the first time since March 2008.
Mining and Energy
- In the three months to April 2009, 4,458 houses were approved for construction in Western Australia (trend). This was 1.1% higher than in the previous quarter, but almost 23% lower than in the same quarter of the previous year.
- In the December quarter 2008, construction commenced on 4,446 dwellings. This represents a decrease of approximately 15% compared with the previous quarter and 21% compared with the same quarter of the previous year.
- Expenditure on mineral exploration ($293 million) in Western Australia fell almost 11% in trend terms in the March quarter 2009. This expenditure was below $300 million for the first time since September 2007 ($269 million).
- Expenditure on exploration for silver, lead and zinc, nickel and cobalt; and iron ore were all down by more than 40% and for gold by 16%.
- Production of diamonds decreased by almost 16% following three successive quarters of growth.
- March quarter 2009 experienced a fall of 4.5% in the number of overseas visitors compared to the same quarter of the previous year, with markedly fewer visitors from the United Kingdom, Japan and South Africa.
- The top five countries of origin for overseas visitors were the United Kingdom, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan and New Zealand in the March quarter 2009.
- The top destination for Western Australian residents travelling abroad in the March quarter was Indonesia. Other popular destinations were Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore and New Zealand.
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