Western Australia currently has the fastest annual rate of growth in Australia. The estimated resident population (ERP) of WA was 2.35 million, an increase of 2.4% from the previous year. The largest component of population growth was in the March quarter 2011 with net overseas migration, which added 10,300 to the population. This is the first time a net overseas migration figure of over 10,000 persons has been recorded in two years and represents a near-doubling of net overseas migration from the previous quarter.
Natural increase to the population is the highest in recent decades while net interstate migration is the highest since the mid 1980s.
Of the population, 65% were Australian-born with the majority of remaining residents hailing from the United Kingdom, New Zealand South Aftica, India & Scotland. English was the only language spoken at home by 84% of the population, with Italian, Chinese and Vietnamese the next most common languages spoken.
In November 2011, the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in WA was 4.3%, unchanged from the previous 2 months.
At the same time, the trend unemployment rate was 4.3%, also unchanged from the past 2 months. The national rate in November 2011 was 5.3%.
In WA in November 2011, there were 691,400 employed males and 547,300 employed females.
Of all employed males in WA in November 2011, 14.1% were working part-time, compared to 47.0% of all employed females who were working on a part-time basis.
The industries in WA which made the greatest contribution to the state’s gross product in 2010-11 in volume terms were: Mining (28.0%), Construction (11.7%), Ownership of dwellings (6.3%), Manufacturing (6.2%), and Professional, scientific and technical services (5.9%).
From 2000-01 to 2010-11, the Construction industry recorded a 134.4% increase in value added. This represented the highest increase of all industries in WA. During the same period, the Agriculture, forestry and fishing industry was the only industry to record a decrease, down by 15.7%.
At the end of June 2009 there were 213,400 operating businesses in WA, or 1,700 less than at the same time in the previous year.
The vast majority of these were small businesses, with 61.4% of the total being non-employing businesses and a further 33.6% of the total employing from 1-19 employees.
The increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for Perth from September 2010 to September 2011 was 2.8%, well below the weighted average for the eight capital cities (3.5%). Perth (along with Darwin) had the smallest annual CPI increase of all the eight capital cities.
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Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics