FACTBase Bulletin 57 - Spatial Distribution and Employment Trends in Perth and Peel since the 2011 Census

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This FACTBase Bulletin explores spatial distribution and employment trends in Perth and Peel since the 2011 Census. It also refreshes the data in FACTBase Bulletin 22: The Spatial Distribution of Employment in Metropolitan Perth, 1991-2011. The Bulletin analyses employment, unemployment and relevant Census labour data by Statistical Area Level 2 (SA2) geographic regions. There are two main sections to this Bulletin, a refresh of Tonts and Plummer (2010) and key highlights on the labour force characteristics of the Greater Perth region.

Key Findings
  • Greater Perth has experienced a slower period of employment growth in the years 2011 to 2017 compared to 1991 to 2010.
  • Mining and resource job losses and a sharp decline in population growth have both contributed to the overall slowing of employment growth in Western Australia during 2011 to 2017.
  • Employment hot spots are getting larger in the outer ring of Greater Perth. SA2 area analysis shows that some local government areas are performing better in job creation than others.
  • Perth City SA2, whilst further down the list of best performing areas in job creation, still recorded an increase of 29.53% in employment from September 2011 to September 2017. This reinforces the findings from Get a Move On!, in that a large portion of jobs are city-centric (Committee for Perth, 2016).
  • Unemployment rates in the Greater Perth region were on the decline during the most recent construction expansion phase in the mining industry. Since moving to a production phase, job losses and a lower population growth phase has seen the unemployment rate lift to its most recent peak of 6.23% in March 2017 (Department of Jobs and Small Business, 2017).
  • Over the entire Greater Perth region, unemployment rates differ firstly in their magnitude and secondly in how they have changed over time. SA2 areas which have experienced a worsening of unemployment rates include: Girrawheen, 22.12%; Parmelia – Orelia, 18.88%; and Balga – Mirrabooka, 23.05% (Department of Jobs and Small Business, 2017).
  • There has been a marked shift in unemployment rates over 2011 to 2017 when plotted against each other and compared to the 1991 to 2010 period in Tonts and Plummer (2011). Firstly, the distribution of unemployment rates have previously been spread across low, medium and high rates. Now however, there has been a large shift towards lower unemployment rates in 2011 to 2017. There are still some SA2 areas that show significantly entrenched unemployment.
  • Whilst there has been an increase in female full-time and part-time employment, there still appears to be opportunities to increase the participation of females in the labour force.
  • Turning to the detail around unemployment status, it is evident that the number of unemployed persons looking for work has significantly increased since the 2006 Census. The total number of persons looking for work has lifted from 27,959 persons to 81,482 persons in 2016, a rise of 191.43%.
  • Now over 50% of the working age population has completed a non-school qualification. Females attained a higher number of Bachelor Degree qualifications than males, 144,603 compared to 112,861 males (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2017).
  • Seeking and undertaking both full-time and part-time work is growing amongst those people over 65 years of age. In fact, there has been an increase of 137.21% in people aged 65 years and over who worked full-time in 2016 versus 2006. In addition, there was an increase of 150.12% people participating in part-time work (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2017).
  • The larger age groups of employed are now Generation X where in 2016, 40-49 year olds represented 23.62% of employed persons and 50-59 year olds represented 19.60%, making a total of 43.22% of fulltime employed persons in Greater Perth. As the population ages in the next 10 to 20 years, the impact on the economy and society will be further pronounced as identified in Davis (2017a) (Australian Bureau of Statistics, 2017).
Acknowledgement of Country

The Committee For Perth acknowledges the traditional custodians throughout Western Australia and their continuing connection to the land, waters and community. We pay our respects to all members of the Aboriginal communities and their cultures; and to Elders both past and present.