22nd Oct 2016
THERE is still a huge gap between the rich and the poor, underemployment has risen and Western Australia’s gross state product growth has dropped.
According to a new Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre report the poorest 20 per cent of WA households hold just 0.8 per cent of the state’s total net wealth.
Back to the Future, released on Wednesday night, examined the state’s economic trends following the post-mining boom.
It found the wealthiest 20 per cent of WA households hold almost two-thirds of the state’s total net household wealth.
BCEC director Alan Duncan said a quarter of single WA women didn’t have superannuation assets, compared to one in ten men.
“This had created a noticeable and persistent gender wealth gap,” he said.
“There are also strong signals emanating from the labour market that career pathways will be less straightforward.
“For the first time since 2006, WA’s unemployment rate has surpassed the nation’s.”
Furthermore, the report found the underemployment ratio has risen in WA more rapidly than other states and territories.
Underemployment increased to 10 per cent in 2016, it was six per cent in 2011.
“Labour demand has also been decreasing with the WA Internet Vacancy Index recently falling below the national rate,” Professor Duncan said.
“More West Australians will need to hold multiple jobs at any point in time to make up preferred work hours and multiple job turnovers and career shifts.
“Mining continues to be the primary contributor to the state’s economic output after the boom, despite the mining labour force shrinking by 20 per cent in the past three years.”
Although the employment share of the health care and social assistance industry has grown.
Health care and social services, and arts and recreation had the highest employment growth rates in 2014-15.
“After a prolonged period of economic growth driven by the resources boom, WA’s economic trajectory has returned to a ‘new normal’ which is more consistent with national economic growth rates,” Professor Duncan said.
“A key consideration is whether we have the right policy settings in place to manage the future of work which is increasingly precarious.”
Other key findings:
• WA’s gross state product growth rate dropped from 9 per cent in 2011-12 to 3.5 per cent in 2014-15, below the state’s long-term average growth rate of 4.7 per cent.
• WA’s mining workforce has shrunk from nearly 106,000 fulltime employees in mid-2013 to around 84,000 FTE by the end of 2015.
• The average inflation rate in Perth declined from 3 per cent during the resources boom to under 2 per cent during the post-boom period.
• For the first time since 2006, the WA’s unemployment rate surpassed the nation’s unemployment rate in mid-2015.
• As at August 2016, the unemployment rate in WA was over 6 per cent.
• WA’s migration numbers dipped from a net inflow of 8,898 in 2012 to a net outflow of 3,005 in 2015.