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Census data continues to provide insight into Perth 28/10/2017

The latest information released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) from the 2016 census provides us with an insight into the people of Greater Perth’s employment situation, including the industries that people are employed in and also how they get to and from places of employment.

The latest information released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) from the 2016 census provides us with an insight into the people of Greater Perth’s employment situation, including the industries that people are employed in and also how they get to and from places of employment.

This type of information assists to inform government and industry on a range of planning related matters including the sectors which are supporting broader economic growth, along with the more detailed aspects of urban planning and infrastructure requirements.

Overall, an interesting statistic is the proportion of people working in certain industry sectors.

While mining is often the focal point with regard to the WA economy, according to the census data approximately 46,000 people are employed in mining while close to 92,000 are employed in construction.

That makes the construction industry the second largest employer in Greater Perth behind the healthcare and social assistance industry. Retail is also a significant employer with approximately 90,000 employees.

Employment in the mining sector has decreased marginally since the census in 2011, while the number of people employed in construction has increased by close to 7000 people.

The manufacturing sector has really taken a hit over the last five years, with the number of people employed decreasing significantly.

These figures reinforce how important the property and construction industry is to the broader economy and also reflects the changing face of employment as areas like manufacturing give way to service industries such as retail and tourism. It is also interesting to look at the method of travel to work that people are utilising.

People in Greater Perth are still reliant on the private car, with 562,373 people stating they drive a car to work and another 38,793 stating they get to work as a passenger in a car.

In terms of public transport, the most popular mode is the bus with approximately 28,000 catching a bus to work while about 14,000 catch a bus and train combination and 25,000 catch the train.

These figures remain fairly unchanged from 2011, including bicycle use, with just 9367 riding a bike to work each day. A growing number of people are also working from home which impacts on housing and transport needs.

Overall, the data shows we have more work ahead of us to get more people using sustainable modes of transport.

The State Government’s Metronet plan will go some way to addressing this issue, by improving east-west connectivity across the metropolitan region.

It is also important to design successful activity centres around transport nodes with efficient connections from other areas into these centres.

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