Feature Article - FACTBase Bulletin 59 - Greater Perth’s Economic Base: A Comparative Assessment

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Whilst the mining industry is still Greater Perth’s most significant in terms of driving economic growth, there were a number of additional important sectors contributing towards a more diverse local economy between 2011 and 2016. The Committee for Perth’s latest FACTBase Bulletin 59 – Greater Perth’s Economic Base: A Comparative Assessment, explores industries which are significant in driving economic growth across Greater Perth. 

It found evidence of a changing economic base, with growing potential for other industries to have a greater contribution and diversify the economy. Those industries with a concentration of activity in Greater Perth relative to the national economy included arts and recreation; rental, hiring and real estate services; education and training; and retail trade.

In comparison to other Australian capital cities, in Greater Perth, the mining industry has a much greater presence but a less prevalent service or knowledge focused economy, especially in comparison to Greater Melbourne and Sydney.

While these industries may be propelling economic activity in Greater Perth, there are a number of industries critical in terms of employment. A large amount of jobs across the metropolitan area are in health care and social assistance, with almost 13% of the population employed by this industry. Second was retail trade, with 10.4% of employees, then education and training, 9.4%, construction, 8.3% and professional, scientific and technical services, 7.6%.

The Bulletin also analysed the largest employment locations across the metropolitan area. Unsurprisingly, Perth City employed the greatest number of people with 137,455, followed by Subiaco – Shenton Park, 22,926 and Osborne Park Industrial, 22,029. This reiterates the findings from the Committee’s Get a Move On! major research project, in that Greater Perth has a highly centralised, spatial structure of employment.

These findings will form a key part of recommendations for the Committee’s Bigger & Better Beyond the Boom project, which will be released in October this year. The project will ultimately identify targeted strategies for a more economically diverse and robust future for the region.

Read the Bulletin.


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