City bucks unemployment trend

Callum HunterSouth Western Times
“I am not surprised at all by those figures” - Stan Liaros, Apprentice and Traineeship Company chief executive.
Camera Icon“I am not surprised at all by those figures” - Stan Liaros, Apprentice and Traineeship Company chief executive.

Bunbury has bucked the unemployment trend to be one of the few locations in WA not to show an increase in unemployment.

Recent figures released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics revealed that Bunbury’s unemployment rate had remained steady over the past 10 years at about 5 per cent.

This was in stark contrast to Mandurah and Perth which climbed 3 per cent and 2.5 per cent to 9 per cent and 6.5 per cent respectively.

Bunbury MLA Don Punch described the steady rate as unsurprising on the grounds of Bunbury’s diverse economic base.

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“In Bunbury we have a strong industry sector, a strong service sector and within each of those there are particular sectors such as mining, mineral processing or manufacturing,” he said.

“This diversity gives us a special strength in terms of the availability of opportunities...and we can rely on these strengths to support the future of Bunbury.”

According to the bureau’s figures, the only major centre to come close to Bunbury was the Wheatbelt, having risen little more than one per cent to now sit equal with Bunbury’s rate of 5 per cent.

Apprentice and Traineeship Company chief executive Stan Liaros attributed the South West’s diversity to being the key to its success.

“I am not surprised at all by those figures,” he said

“We’re quite fortunate here and have been for more than a decade.

“I’ve been here since the mid-80s and always found we have been able to weather the unemployment storms a lot better.”

Mr Liaros described the South West as something of a focal point for an employment comeback and cited Bunbury’s easy access, Rio Tinto’s interest in Busselton, the soon to be built Kemerton lithium plant and various other industry sectors as current and upcoming employment opportunities.

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