NORTHERN Western Australia (WA) continues to ride the global commodity boom, according to a recently released ANZ report.
According to the report, WA is benefiting from record mining related investment and exploration expenditure, with 37 advanced projects worth $42 billion currently under way.
The Northern part of the State is the area of most expenditure, with major expansions at the North-West shelf (oil and liquefied natural gas), Pilbara and Hope Downs (iron ore), and Argyle (diamonds).
The mining boom has had a flow on effect on non-mining sectors, including non-residential construction activity, with the value of non-residential construction approvals in September 2007 109.6% higher than the same month a year earlier.
Competition for skilled labour remains a major constraint on further expansion plans, according the report, with the unemployment rate falling to 3.7%, well below the national average of 4.3%.
The report found the WA labour force participation rate of 71% is the second highest in Australia, behind the Northern Territory.
The region nevertheless achieved solid employment growth of 2.3% in the year to October 2007.