City of Melville winning the battle on unemployment

City of Melville winning the battle on unemployment

UNEMPLOYMENT among City of Melville residents is less than half of the state average according to latest Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) estimates.

Just 2.8 per cent of Melville’s available labour force was jobless in March this year, compared to Western Australia’s overall unemployment rate of 5.9 per cent.

With an estimated 59 residents looking for work, Winthrop boasted an unemployment rate of just 1.6 per cent, the lowest in the City.

Willagee was by far the worst Melville suburb with 254 people, or 9.9 per cent of the available labour force, out of a job.

ABS Small Area Labour Markets estimates for the March quarter show unemployment on the rise across WA, jumping from 5.4 per cent in March 2015 to 5.9 per cent a year later.

Most of Melville’s suburbs recorded a small increase in joblessness although Willagee was a notable exception; the unemployment rate actually dropped 1.5 per cent over the past 12 months.

Melville Mayor Russell Aubrey said the City had worked hard to help small businesses in Willagee to flourish.

“The Willagee Structure Plan has the potential to support around 200 local jobs, providing for up to 7,000sq m of commercial floor space including office, retail and medical,” he said.

“Since the structure plan was adopted in December 2013 a local cafe has expanded, another new cafe opened in a different part of the suburb, a new 110-bed aged care facility has been established and a medical centre opened which also provides an important new community service.”

Mr Aubrey said Melville had traditionally enjoyed below average unemployment rates and was now working towards the goal of employment self-sufficiency.

“Key activity centres will each have their own identity with a different focus including commercial, retail, education and health,” he said.

This diversification will bring new business and employment opportunities including jobs for students, part-timers, those returning to work or even phasing out to retirement.

“Murdoch for example has the potential for 35,000 jobs, and between Melville City Centre including Garden City, Canning Bridge Precinct, Melville District Centre and Riseley Centre there is the potential for another 3000 jobs,” Mr Aubrey said.