Bankwest Economic Update

Events Wanneroo Business | Monday, April 23, 2018

Economic Blog Update

 The facts and figures below are included in the latest update from Bankwest Chief Economist, Alan Langford, this time with a focus on unemployment and full time employment levels.

WA’s headline (ie seasonally adjusted) unemployment rate jumped from 6.1 per cent in February, to 6.9 per cent in March.  The steep rise in the headline jobless rate is a bit misleading, because the participation rate jumped sharply as well.

Nevertheless, the rise in the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate, coupled with annual re-analysis of seasonal factors, was enough to trigger a resumption of an uptick in the official trend jobless rate, which has now risen from 5.6 per cent in July last year, to 6.4 per cent, 0.8 of a percentage point above the national rate. Over the same period, WA’s trend participation rate has risen from 67.9 per cent, to 68.4 per cent - not enough to explain all of the rise in the jobless rate.

WA’s participation rate is the highest of all states, meaning the state’s economy has to generate faster employment growth to maintain the same jobless rate as states with lower participation rates.

But while it looked to be doing just that until about 9 months ago, the apparent ‘surge’ in full-time employment has now evaporated (Figure 1 in the attached graphical summary), if it was ever quite as robust as it seemed anyway.

That’s not to suggest that the recovery in the WA economy has stalled, but rather that it is one thing to generate strong full-time jobs growth when emerging from a very deep trough, but quite another to sustain it month after month, year in year out. The recovery in WA’s economy was always going to be stop-start rather than onwards and upwards, and so too will be the trajectory of full-time employment growth.

DOWNLOAD Graphical Summary


Q & A with Senator Katy Gallagher and Dr Anne Aly MP

WBA Support | Wednesday, May 03, 2017

On 2 May 2017, local small businesses attended a Q & A at Malaga & District Business Association's new Growth Box with Wanneroo Business Association to hear from Senator Katy Gallagher, Shadow Minister for Small Business and Dr Anne Aly MP, Federal Member for Cowan.

Dr Anne Aly MP introduced Cowan as having great potential; 'WA has potential to be the door step to Australia, it is the best place to work internationally and be innovative but we need a vision.  And I want a vision for Cowan.'

Senator Katy Gallagher, Shadow Minister for Small Business said she was delighted to visit WA, as part of the Federal Labor team, she has been requested to get out and talk to small business so that she can feed into policy.  Whilst out speaking with businesses, the top 3 concerns have been getting more customers, confidence and cash flow/payment times.  NBN, red tape and energy prices have also been discussed.


Robert Seth, Tri-Shield Services: There appears to be a perceived pressure on small business from the ATO with no flexibility.  Do you have any thoughts or concerns about this?

Answer: Senator Katy Gallagher - There was a small announcement in the Government's mid year economic update which involved passing ATO debt on to debt collectors.  There are concerns around the implementation of this, the when and how.  Legislation would need to be passed for this to happen, but there are also concerns about the resources needed to bring this in and the data protection aspect of sharing personal details.


Peter Newbound, WA Insurance Brokers: The NBN in Wangara and Malaga is shocking, what are Government doing about this?

Answer: Dr Anne Aly MP - We are aware of these issues, the electorate of Cowan has been left behind.  We are in constant contact with NBN, but this could still see a 2 year wait for some areas.  I have traveled through armored vehicles in Pakistan and had better internet connection than some places in the electorate.  We have put pressure on NBN for an urgent roll out in the area but we are also looking at using local council infrastructure to provide wireless networks to some areas.  Get in touch with my office if you would like to find out more.


Nick Trandos, Trandos Farms - As a market gardener we employ over 100 people from overseas, yet the area we work in has the highest rate of unemployment in Wanneroo and Joondalup.  How do we get Australians to work?

Answer:  Senator Katy Gallagher - There is no policy to fix this, we are looking at tightening visas, but that won't necessarily help small businesses.

Dr Anne Aly MP - work ethic is a social issue, but there are locals looking for work.


Australian companies send business outside Australia to save money, but this sends local businesses under.

Answer: Senator Katy Gallagher - Bill Shorten recently announced a Buy Local scheme for Government's own infrastructure works including materials and work force


Andrew Slomp, Quality Resort Sorrento Beach: WA is unique, small business tends to service local small business so when the economy is doing well so are businesses, but when the economy is weak, small businesses struggle.  When decisions are made on small business in Canberra, you need to remember that small business includes WA, Darwin is the same.

Answer: Senator Katy Gallagher - I agree, I have noticed that the Sydney, Brisbane, Canberra and Melbourne economies are going strong but as soon as you move more remote businesses are struggling.

Senator Katy Gallagher wrapped up the afternoon by thanking the businesses in attendance for taking time out to share the issues, which are difficult to solve immediately.  She gave reassurance that the issues would be taken back to Government.



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