Review of Census Data reveals Wheatbelt Industry and Job Trends
December 05, 2017 at 3:44 PM
Wheatbelt’s number one employing industry
The Australian Bureau of Statistic’s second 2016 Census release [Australian Bureau of Statistics 2016, Time Series Profiles] reveals that the agricultural, forestry and fishing sector remains the top employing industry, comprising a quarter (24.7%) of total Wheatbelt employment.
This compares to the industry’s employment contribution at the State level of 2.5%. 27.1% of Western Australia’s total agricultural, forestry and fishing employment is concentrated in the Wheatbelt.
Note: ‘Other’ represents industries ranked 10 – 20.
Wheatbelt job trends
Comparing the 2011 and 2016 employment by industry statistics reveals two notable employment trends occurring in the Wheatbelt. The first is the declining number of employed jobs in manufacturing (-28.4%), information media and telecommunications(-23.3%) and retail trade (-19.3%). This job contraction can be attributed to the streamlining of these industries through the adaption of new technologies. Consequently, less labour is required. However, this opens up job opportunities in other innovation areas.
The second trend is the increasing proportion of employed jobs in service industries. Between 2011 and 2016, the number of employed jobs in arts and recreation services (21.2%), administrative and support services (13.3%) and professional, scientific and technical services (1.9%) all increased. As recognised by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade [DFAT 2016, World Trade Organization. www.dfat.gov.au], efficient service sectors are critical to economic growth and trade.
Wendy Newman, CEO of the Wheatbelt Development Commission said, “The underlying diversity of the Wheatbelt economy continues to offer a range of job growth opportunities. Important to this growth will be the training and attraction of the skilled labour force to drive innovation.”
“As our population ages, there will continue to be more job opportunities in service-based industries and as technology continues to drive productivity, knowledge based and ITC jobs will continue to underpin the Region’s economic diversity,” she said.