More jobs on offer in South West

Michael PhilippsSouth Western Times

The South West has bucked a Statewide trend with new figures showing unemployment rates in the region dropped between 2013 and 2016.

According to the Living in the Regions 2016 Insight report, which was released by the Department of Regional Development, the South West was the only region to show a decline in the unemployment rate.

Every other region in the State, including the Perth metropolitan area, showed an increase in the rate of unemployment

According to the report, the South West had an unemployment rate of 5.9 per cent in 2013 which dropped to 4.5 per cent in 2016.

While the Pilbara region showed the lowest rate of unemployment in 2016, it had increased slightly from the figures from 2013.

According to the report, modest employment growth was recorded across regional WA during this period, with all regions except the South West recording annual average employment growth of less than 2 per cent over the past two years.

The report stated that while the metropolitan employment market was expected to recover in coming years, expectations of the regional labour market were less positive.

However, the forecast was more positive for employment growth to 2020 in Bunbury, which predicted growth of around 3 per cent as it was a centre less reliant on agriculture and mining compared to most parts of regional WA.

Bunbury MLA Don Punch said while the figures were encouraging, there was still room for growth in terms of employment in the region.

“It was really pleasing to see the South West buck the Statewide trend of growing unemployment, but we all know there is still a lot of work to do creating jobs and opportunities for people in our region,” he said.

“There is no doubt the South West benefits from having a diverse economy and the McGowan Government is committed to growing that diversity and improving the long-term employment outlook in the region.”

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