WA Recovery Plan aiding WA's economic rebound from COVID-19

Published on 19 November 2020

New data released today from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) shows Western Australia's jobs recovery is well underway due to the State Government's safe and strong management of COVID-19. 

The ABS Labour Force report for October showed WA jobs rose by 15,300 in October. The 1.1 per cent growth in employment was the second strongest of the States, only behind Victoria where employment began to recover from its second wave of COVID-19.

The number of jobs lost to COVID-19 continues to recover, with 86.7 per cent or 89,300 of the 103,050 jobs lost between February and May now recovered.

After women were disproportionately impacted by initial job losses due to COVID-19, 98.7 per cent of these jobs have now been recovered (compared to 71.7 per cent for men).

The unemployment rate in WA fell to 6.6 per cent in October, down from 6.7 per cent in September. This is the second lowest unemployment rate of the States behind New South Wales at 6.5 per cent, although the participation rate in NSW is lower at just 65.6 per cent.

The latest ABS data also highlights that the Western Australian participation rate has returned to pre-COVID levels to 68.3 per cent in October, up from 67.7 per cent in September.

Encouragingly, WA's underemployment rate fell to 8.4 per cent, the lowest of the States, and compares to 10.4 per cent for the national economy and 9.9 per cent in NSW. 

WA's underemployment rate is now the lowest in more than five years (since September 2015).

The number of jobs on offer in WA also continues to increase, with Department of Employment internet job ads data for October showing a rise of 4.7 per cent to 19,276, the most since March 2013.

Job vacancies in WA are now 17.3 per cent higher than prior to COVID-19. 

Notably, the youth unemployment rate also fell to 13.4 per cent in October from 14.3 per cent in September, the second lowest of the States and below the national rate of 14.6 per cent.