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The dark side of WA’s ‘amazing’ 13-year unemployment low

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Having the nation’s tightest jobs market is creating a hiring headache for WA employers, with job vacancies taking months to fill despite generous salary offers and some companies electing not to bid for projects.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data released on Thursday showed the national unemployment rate had edged lower to 3.9 per cent while WA’s had dropped to 2.9 per cent — a 13-and-a-half year low CommSec chief economist Craig James described as “amazing”.

“More and more businesses are bemoaning the lack of suitably-qualified candidates to fill job vacancies,” Mr James said.

“So with the labour market tight as a drum, pushing up wages and prices, the first order of business for the new government will be to focus on measures to boost the supply of workers.”

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The “quite incredible” numbers prompted the Chamber of Commerce and Industry WA to reiterate calls for moves to boost employer-sponsored skilled worker migration.

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