Workforce information

Workforce information

Western Australia has a population of around 2.6 million people, of which more than half make up the State’s workforce of some 1.4 million people. WA has the fourth largest workforce in Australia, with a higher rate of workforce participation compared to the national average.

  • Aboriginal Australians make up 1.8% of the State’s workforce, while those born overseas make up 37.1%.
  • Youth aged 15–24 comprise about 14.6%, while those over 60 comprise 9.0%.
  • WA’s male to female workforce ratio is 55% to 45%.
  • Many Western Australians in the workforce hold post school qualifications, with 24.2% holding a university degree and 33.3% a VET Certificate or Diploma.
  • 40.8% have no post school qualifications.

The vast majority (around 80%) of the State’s population and workers reside in Greater Perth (including Mandurah).

However, the regions are quite diverse in nature and incorporate a variable mix of employment in areas such as services, resource projects, agribusiness and tourism.

The majority of workers in the State are employed on a full time basis (67.6%), with a broadly similar industry employment composition to that of the other states in Australia, with 72.6% employed in the State’s service related industries, compared to 78.1% for Australia.

The top three employing industries in WA are currently health care and social assistance, construction and retail trade.

However, one key difference in employment composition relates to WA having a higher proportion of workers employed in the mining industry compared to nationally.

Source: ABS Census 2011; ABS 3101.0 – Australian Demographic Statistics; ABS 6202.0 – Labour Force, Australia; ABS 6227.0 Education and Work, Australia; and ABS 6291.0 – Labour Force Australia, Detailed, Quarterly.
Page last updated December 15, 2016