Government of Western Australia Official Site


WA Economic Profile – August 2017

Main updates this month

Labour market

  • Employment rose by 25,700 (2 per cent) through the year to July 2017, due to rising full-time employment offsetting falling part-time employment.
  • Employment prospects in Western Australia are improving. There were 19,100 job vacancies in the June quarter 2017, 1,300 more than in the previous quarter and 3,600 more than a year ago.
  • The unemployment rate of 5.4 per cent in July 2017 was below the 5.6 per cent in the previous month and 6.4 per cent a year ago.
  • Wages growth of 1.4 per cent in 2016‑17 was below annual average growth of 3.3 per cent over the past ten years, and below Australia’s wages growth of 1.9 per cent in 2016‑17.


  • Mining new capital expenditure fell 37 per cent to $22.2 billion in 2016-17 and new capital expenditure in other (selected) industries fell 14 per cent to $6.8 billion.

Property market and construction activity

  • In 2016, activity on:
    • Residential building fell 20 per cent to $7.7 billion
    • Non-residential building fell 12 per cent to $4.5 billion
    • Heavy engineering construction fell 35 per cent to $19.2 billion
    • All other engineering construction fell 46 per cent to $6.7 billion
  • Leading indicators are showing signs of increasing building activity in the second half of 2017. Approvals rose for residential (up 9 per cent) and non-residential (up 20 per cent) building in the June quarter 2017, and housing finance for the construction of new dwellings rose 29 per cent.


  • Merchandise exports rose 21 per cent to $120.8 billion in 2016-17.


The latest WA Economic Profile will be available on the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation’s website soon.WA Economic Profile – August 2017