Home' Employment Forecast : October 2009 Contents 7
The Age Employment Forecast
Source: EMDA Model 2009
WA rode the resources boom like it normally does and experienced very strong jobs growth, particularly in 2005. With the GFC
impacting on commodity prices, WA‘s strong jobs growth has slowed. Having said that, jobs have only fallen slightly in the latest
quarter and on an annual basis WA’s job market has been strong. WA has been growing full-time jobs on an annual basis (+1.0%),
joining Queensland as one of the only two States growing full time jobs. It hasn’t fallen further and faster in WA for two main
reasons; frstly there is a delay from the softening in demand for commodities in WA due to the pipeline of construction work
already committed and secondly commodity prices have rebounded, thanks to the rebound in growth in China over the last six
months or so, supported by growth in India as well.
Although the value of building approvals has slowed (-34% YTD 09), there are a large number of existing mining related projects
underway, such as the Pluto LNG development $11.2 billion, BHP Billiton’s $7.4 billion ffth stage of the Rapid Growth Iron Ore
project, Newmont’s $4.5 billion Boddington gold mine development, Worsley Alumina $2.5 billion expansion at Collie, the Argyle
Diamond Mines $1.7 billion expansion and a number of power generation projects. These will underpin growth while approvals
recover. Another factor in the State’s favour is the growth in WA’s population which is growing at 3.1 % p.a. in 2008 from 1.6% p.a.
in 2003. There is also a reasonable level of major commercial building projects underway including the $1.8 billion Fiona Stanley
Hospital project, a $1 billion new offce development at Jandakot and a new multi-purpose sporting complex worth $470Million.
Consumers are also chipping in with retail sales still growing (+2.9% YTDJuly 09) although these ratios have slowed and are well
down from the double digit growth of 2007.
Against this backdrop EMDA models are showing a return to growth in the employment market in WA, with jobs growth expected
to return in the Nov. 09 quarter (0.2%) and rising further by early next year as the mining sector expands. These growth rates,
though well behind the heady 2005 rates, are never the less are a welcome return to growth for WA.
Change in Jobs
Change in Jobs Quarterly
The improved outlook for the mining sector will also boost jobs growth in WA
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