NEW figures have shown unemployment in the Mandurah region is continuing to rise, in contrast to better jobs data across greater Perth and WA generally.
In particular, women in the Mandurah region continued to lose jobs faster, without finding replacement work, than anywhere else across greater Perth.
Data extracted for Community News showed the unemployment rate rose 1.2 per cent in the year to September 30 in the Mandurah region, extending from Madora Bay to Herron, and east through Pinjarra.
At 8 per cent, unemployment is worse in Mandurah than any other greater Perth region.
WA’s jobless rate edged down to 6 per cent in September, while nationally the Australian Bureau of Statistics quarterly data showed the unemployment rate at 5 per cent, its lowest point since 2012.
In Mandurah, male unemployment was generally flat, rising just 0.5 percentage points over the past year on a 12-month rolling average to 8.4 per cent at September 30.
But while the female unemployment rate in Mandurah was lower at 7.5 per cent, it climbed 1.9 per cent across the year.
Peel Chamber of Commerce and Industry general manager Andrew McKerrell said smaller retailers in Mandurah were struggling to compete in an over-saturated market.
“I am confident employment will pick up into the Christmas and summer season,” he said.
“I am expecting the figures to improve. To a certain extent, these figures are a flow-on effect of the downturn during winter.”
Mandurah Mayor Rhys Williams said unemployment was an ongoing challenge for the City.
“Job seekers in our community are struggling, and Mandurah’s economy has been slow to recover from the Global Financial Crisis a decade ago,” he said.
“We know there is pain in our community and we know that our best way of tackling this issue is an aspirational plan for our future, which we’re working towards achieving for our community.
“We can be a significant City in the WA economy, but it is going to take a concerted effort by our political and business leaders, and it isn’t going to happen overnight.
“To this end, I’m really proud of the economic development plan that Council released last month.
“This plan lays the foundations for this economic restructure and seeks to position Mandurah as WA’s City of the South.
“Key areas of focus are on new economy jobs and working with our neighbours in the Shire of Murray on attracting new agri-tech and food-production industries to the Region.
“In the short term, we are reforming the way we approach tourism as a City and focusing on the redevelopment of our City Centre.
“This is about making the most of Mandurah’s strengths – our beautiful natural environment, our emerging culture and arts scene, and great hospitality businesses.”
The Perth Inner region is the city’s most employed region by far, with unemployment at just 4.1 per cent, a fall of 0.4 per cent (12 month rolling average) since September 30, 2017.
In Perth’s North East (Maylands and South Guildford up to Ellenbrook and Bullsbrook, and across to Bailup and Beechina in the East) , unemployment rose 0.7 per cent across the 12 months to September 30, to 7.1 per cent.
In the South East (South Perth across to Piesse Brook and South through Armadale to Keysbrook) unemployment was up just 0.4 per cent across the year to 6.3 per cent.
The Perth North West region (Two Rocks down to Chruchlands, and across to Dianella and Landsdale) showed the best employment recovery, adding 13,900 jobs across the year to reduce the unemployment rate by 0.7 per cent to 6.3 per cent.
In the South West (Fremantle though Rockingham to Golden Bay and across to Banjup in the East) unemployment was flat at 6.8 per cent.