In February the Chamber of Commerce announced that the Western Australian economy had reached”a turning point”, stating that WA had survived the “worst of the state’s economic woes”.
Businesses are starting to feel confident about the future of the WA economy, which continues to be led by the mining sector. According to the Chamber of Commerce Industry of WA, “83 per cent [of mining corporations] are anticipating stronger economic conditions for the year ahead. This isn’t surprising given the $103 billion worth of resource projects, predicted to be in the pipeline.
“A third of businesses (34%) increased their employment levels this quarter, while almost half (49%) kept staff levels steady. These conditions are expected to continue to improve next quarter, which is an encouraging sign that slack in the labour market is tightening,” noted CCI Chief Economist, Rick Newnham.
Deloitte’s 2018 WA Economic Outlook has also stated that “business confidence is translating well into employment growth with the number of people employed in WA rising by around 54,600 since the September 2016 peak in unemployment”. So what does this mean for you?
Recruitment firm Robert Half shared their insight into the future of employment in WA:
“While there’s still a level of caution in WA, recovering business confidence is spurring a gradual increase in job opportunities. Even though overall unemployment rates remain relatively high compared to other states, we are witnessing an increased demand for finance and technology professionals. The forecast is looking positive as companies are planning to launch additional projects and business initiatives in light of more mine sites coming out of care and maintenance,” shared David Jones, Senior Managing Director of Robert Half Asia-Pacific.
“While companies across Australia find it difficult to source qualified staff due to economic challenges, these challenges have been far less present in WA the past few years. Over the last six months, however, we are seeing WA-based companies struggle to find talented employees to join their team. Indeed, 97% of CFOs based in WA say they find it challenging to find skilled staff, bringing WA more in line with the other states,” Mr Jones stated.
According to Robert Half, the following roles have increased in demand in WA:
- Permanent IT roles: within application development, and project-based roles within system enhancements and product development are in high demand as technology is increasingly becoming a primary driver of employment in WA.
- Financial Professionals: From a financial perspective, there’s a steady demand for financial professionals in the transactional space, such as accounts payable, credit control and payroll. The flow-on effect after an increase in the transactional-level work is expected around the end of 2018 – early 2019 with demand likely to grow for Financial Accountants, Management Accounts and Financial Analysts in WA.
- Temporary Staff: Many companies in WA currently still favour temporary staff due to flexibility and reduced costs of not having to increase permanent headcount.