Feature Article - FACTBase Bulletin 61: Local Economic Competitiveness in Greater Perth


This month, the Committee released FACTBase Bulletin 61 – Local Economic Competitiveness in Greater Perth. The research, undertaken in-house and in collaboration with The University of Western Australia, identified that Perth is the second most locally competitive economy behind Sydney. This means that a proportion of employment growth across Greater Perth could be attributed to local competitiveness factors rather than being accounted for by broader national growth patterns.

These competitiveness factors include human capital, innovation, technological advancement, entrepreneurship, agglomeration, infrastructure and accessibility. Industries that were assisted by local conditions across Greater Perth included health care and social assistance, accommodation and food services, construction and retail trade. This suggests that Greater Perth has particular local advantages that underpin employment growth in these industries. Despite this, the professional, scientific and technical services industry was negatively impacted by local conditions in Greater Perth, and was the worst performer in terms of competing for growth within this industry across Australia.

The research also identified locations across Greater Perth that were assisted by local factors contributing to above expected employment growth. Between 2011 and 2016, areas that were highly competitive were predominantly located in outer Greater Perth, both in the North-West and South Metropolitan Peel sub-regions. Most of the competitive areas within these sub-regions were bolstered by local factors that contributed to growth in a range of industry sectors. There were also clusters of highly competitive areas found within and surrounding existing industrial estates, such as the Western Trade Coast.

Conversely, areas found within the Central sub-region of Greater Perth were less competitive in attracting employment growth. Further investigation identified that retail trade was the most significant industry to influence those locations with low local competitiveness overall. Despite this, retail trade was highly competitive, which points to a degree of spatial variability in competitiveness and emphasises the importance of local conditions in shaping performance.

The findings of this research will be used to shape the final recommendations of our Bigger & Better Beyond the Boom project, to be released in October. Read the Bulletin.

Other articles from Insight, August 2018 (view email newsletter):