The West Australian - - INSIDE COVER -

West Aussies are more con­cerned about be­ing un­em­ployed than at any time in the past seven years, ac­cord­ing to new data from global research com­pany Ip­sos.

The quar­terly Is­sues Mon­i­tor asked re­spon­dents to se­lect the top three most im­por­tant is­sues fac­ing their State be­tween April and June this year and 42 per cent of those in WA cited un­em­ploy­ment, com­pared with less than 5 per cent who thought it was a sig­nif­i­cant is­sue in 2010.

But it’s not just a fear of un­em­ploy­ment that’s on the rise — 34 per cent of re­spon­dents thought drug abuse was also a sig­nif­i­cant prob­lem in WA, mak­ing it the sec­ond big­gest is­sue fac­ing WA. Con­cern about drug abuse has risen steadily since 2010, when only one in five thought it was a sig­nif­i­cant is­sue.

Round­ing out the top five key is­sues fac­ing WA, ac­cord­ing to the sur­vey, were the econ­omy (32 per cent), the cost of liv­ing (32 per cent) and crime (31 per cent).

While our per­spec­tive on crime and the cost of liv­ing were sim­i­lar to the rest of Aus­tralia, we were more than twice as wor­ried about the econ­omy, al­most twice as wor­ried about drug abuse and al­most 20 per cent more con­cerned about the prospect of un­em­ploy­ment.

In­ter­est­ingly, WA’s con­cerns about health­care have halved since 2010.

We’re also two-thirds less wor­ried about the en­vi­ron­ment and less than half as wor­ried about im­mi­gra­tion.

Just 3 per cent of WA re­spon­dents thought de­fence was an im­por­tant is­sue, match­ing the re­sult from 2010, while se­cu­rity fears on a na­tional ba­sis have risen from 5 per cent seven years ago to 21 per cent last quar­ter, mak­ing it the sixth big­gest is­sue fac­ing Aus­tralia.

Ev­ery time there is a ter­ror at­tack around the world we breathe a sigh of re­lief that we live in the most iso­lated cap­i­tal city on the planet — that was re­flected in the sur­vey.

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