Pic­ture of econ­omy looks bleak

Pilbara News - - News - Shane Wright

Wealth in­equal­ity across WA is growing de­spite the end of the min­ing boom, a land­mark re­port into the State econ­omy has found, while also ar­gu­ing ar­eas of po­ten­tial growth are strug­gling to es­cape the shadow of the re­source sec­tor.

The Bankwest Curtin Eco­nom­ics Cen­tre re­port Back to the Fu­ture: WA’s Eco­nomic Fu­ture Af­ter the Boom, paints a sober pic­ture of the chal­lenges fac­ing the State.

Fig­ures con­firm a fur­ther fall in full-time em­ploy­ment, which has edged down for 20 con­sec­u­tive months.

Growing lev­els of bank­ruptcy and mort­gage ar­rears, cou­pled with fall­ing house prices are all signs of WA’s eco­nomic is­sues.

The Curtin re­port con­firms the boom de­liv­ered un­prece­dented growth in em­ploy­ment, wages and over­all eco­nomic ac­tiv­ity.

It also in­creased in­come in­equal­ity while the cost of liv­ing, par­tic­u­larly for low-in­come earn­ers, soared.

As the min­ing boom ebbed, the dif­fer­ence be­tween the haves and have-nots was ex­pected to nar­row.

How­ever, that oc­curred.

“The wealth­i­est 20 per cent of house­holds now ac­count for 65 per cent of all house­hold net wealth, while the poor­est 20 per cent hold less than 1 per cent,” the re­port says.

It found ar­eas ex­pected to grow — food, tourism and agri­cul­ture — which em­ployed more than twice the num­ber of peo­ple as min­ing were still strug­gling. has not

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