The West Australian

WA job rate gets back to boom time


WA’s unemployme­nt rate is one of the lowest in the country after an incredible dive to below 5 per cent last month, revealing a remarkable recovery from the fiveday lockdown in February.

Figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics yesterday show the State’s unemployme­nt rate fell a massive 1.3 points to 4.8 per cent — the biggest fall in WA history.

WA’s unemployme­nt rate is now lower than pre-COVID levels, when the State was recording a jobless rate of well above 5 per cent. It’s the lowest it has been since December 2013.

ABS head of labour statistics Bjorn Jarvis said both employment and hours worked in WA in March this year were higher than during the same period last year. He said WA’s increase in employment and hours worked were the strongest of all States and Territorie­s.

Almost 33,000 jobs were created in WA in March, making up almost half of the total jobs added nationally, which had more than 13,077,600 Australian­s now in work. However, more than 20,000 of those jobs in WA were part-time only.

Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA chief economist Aaron Morey said the figures were “no doubt helped along by the State election”, when many thousands of people would have been employed by the electoral commission. “A great outcome, nonetheles­s,” Mr Morey said.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said there were “more Australian­s in work today than ever before”. He said 80 per cent of the 70,700 new jobs created in March went to women and young people.

“This is another proof point of Australia’s economic recovery gaining momentum,” he said.

Mr Frydenberg said the Federal Government had “done our part” to help the WA economy stay strong through measures such as JobKeeper.

It comes after Prime Minister Scott Morrison took credit for Mark McGowan’s election win, claiming the Federal Government “bankrolled” WA during the pandemic.

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