Research Paper no. 14 2010–11
Alan PayneStatistics and MappingSection
1 June 2011
- Tables and charts are presented for a broad range of social and economic indicators across all Australian states and territories, and where appropriate, compared directly to either Australian or state totals.
- Each table contains data for the last five years, while each chart plots data for the financial year 2009–10.
The year ending the 30th of June 2010 was the second year after the onset of global economic decline in activity, precipitated by a financial crisis which began in the United States and spread to most other parts of the world. This came to be known as the Global Financial Crisis (GFC). Although the global economic downturn has eased in many countries, it continues to cause problems for the United States and several European countries.
Australia has a relatively small, open economy and as such is reasonably susceptible to external macroeconomic shocks. However, with the global external pressures, the Australian economy has appeared to be fairly robust and has performed relatively well in 2009–10 compared to other economies. Quarterly real gross domestic product (GDP) in Australia grew in all quarters in 2008–09 and 2009–10 except the December quarter of 2008 which showed a decline of 0.9 per cent. Despite this seemingly good performance overall, there still remains considerable divergence between the states and territories.
The disparity in performance across Australia has focused attention on the economic and social conditions in the individual states and territories. The purpose of this paper, therefore, is to present a range of indicators for the states and territories in such a way that comparisons can be made. This has meant that some indicators that reflect the size of an economy (e.g. retail turnover) have been presented so that emphasis is on the annual growth rate of the indicator. Other indicators have been presented as a ratio—e.g. long-term unemployed to total unemployed or general government debt to gross state product—so that comparisons can be made.
This publication is the fifth of this type produced by the Parliamentary Library and it is hoped that this publication will be updated and published annually. Also, it is a companion publication to the Monthly statistical bulletin which contains only Australia-wide data.
As there are social and economic terms that may be unfamiliar to the reader, a glossary has been provided at the end of this publication.
The standout jurisdictions of 2009–10 were Western Australia (WA) and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). This was different to last year when the Northern Territory (NT) was also a standout jurisdiction. The NT has had some good results in 2009–10 but has had some less impressive results, particularly in the areas of business investment, total bankruptcies and liveability.
The NT and the ACT had the lowest unemployment rates in 2009–10, recording annual average rates of 3.4 and 3.5 per cent respectively, well below the national rate of 5.5 per cent. Despite these good results, the ACT rates were up 0.6 percentage points on the previous year. In contrast, the NT rate was down by 0.3 percentage points on the previous year. WA’s rate was up 1.2 percentage points on the previous year but was still below the national rate by 0.5 percentage points.
Economic growth in WA was 4.3 per cent in 2009–10, which was well above the national growth of 2.3 per cent. Also, the gross state products (GSP) per capita of the ACT and WA were well above the national value.
In real terms, average weekly earnings in WA and the ACT were $1340 and $1421 respectively, which were above the national level of $1231. Also of note was Tasmania, which had a large increase of 4.8 per cent in real average weekly earnings. However, despite this large rise in average weekly earnings, Tasmania still has the lowest average weekly earnings of $1063.
Business investment in the NT decreased by 38.5 per cent over the last year and total bankruptcies increased by 46.6 per cent, which is significantly different to the national values of 4.7 and 0.0 per cent respectively. The only states to have growth in business investment over the last year were New South Wales (NSW), Victoria and South Australia (SA).
The weakest performing jurisdiction in 2009–10 was Tasmania with an unemployment rate of 5.6 per cent (an increase of 1.0 percentage point on previous year) combined with a decrease in employment by 1.6 per cent. Commensurate with the labour force results, Tasmania had sluggish economic growth in 2009–10 of 0.4 per cent. When general government net debt is expressed as a percentage of GSP, Tasmania’s net debt increased since 2008–09 by 1.1 percentage points which, with SA, were the equal highest increases in net debt across all jurisdictions. However, despite this increase in net debt, Tasmania still has a negative net debt.
Tasmania is not the only jurisdiction where the state government net debt position has deteriorated. It has also deteriorated in NSW, Victoria, Queensland, SA and WA (although WA, like Tasmania, is still in surplus), while the NT and the ACT have improved their net debt positions.
Labour productivity growth has increased in all jurisdictions since 2008–09 except Victoria, NT and ACT. WA had the highest labour productivity growth of 6.3 per cent.
Long-term data series for every table that appears in this paper are available electronically and can be found at http://libiis1/Library_Services/Quicklinks/state_mesi/index.htm.
The long-term series for the companion publication Monthly statistical bulletin can be found at http://www.aph.gov.au/library/pubs/MSB/index.htm
Note: The above links can only be accessed by senators, members and parliamentary staff.
1.3 Labour force
1.4 Long-term unemployed
7.1 International merchandise exports
8.2 Dependency ratio
8.4 Apparent school retention rates
8.5 General practice bulk billing
8.6 Private health insurance
Adult Employees. Adult employees are those employees 21 years of age or over and those employees who, although under 21 years of age, are paid at the full adult rate for their occupation.
Apparent school retention rate. The number of full-time school students in a designated level/year of education expressed as a percentage of their respective cohort group (which is either at the commencement of their secondary schooling or Year 10).
Average weekly earnings. Average gross (before tax) earnings of employees. Care should be taken when comparing average weekly earnings between states over time. This is due to compositional effects introduced by variations over time in the proportions of full-time, part-time, casual and junior employees; variations in the occupational distribution within and across industries; variations in the distribution of employment between industries; and variations in the proportion of male and female employees.
Average weekly ordinary time earnings. Weekly earnings attributed to award, standard or agreed hours of work for full-time adult employess.
Bankruptcies. Bankruptcies and Administration Orders under Parts IV and XI of the Bankruptcy Act 1966.
Business investment. Private gross fixed capital formation for machinery and equipment; non-dwelling construction; livestock; and intangible fixed assets.
Consumer price index. A measure of change in the price of a basket of goods and services from a base period. Changes in the consumer price index are the most commonly used measures of inflation.
Dependency ratio. Ratio of the economically inactive to economically active populations. Shows the number of children aged 0–14 years and persons aged 65 years and over per 100 persons aged 15–64 years.
Employees. Employees refer to all wage and salary earners who received pay for any part of the reference period.
Employed persons. Persons aged 15 years and over who, during a period of one week, worked for one hour or more for pay or worked for one hour or more without pay in a family business or on a family farm.
Full-time employees. Full-time employees are permanent, temporary and casual employees who normally work the agreed or award hours for a full-time employee in their occupation and received pay for any part of the reference period. If agreed or award hours do not apply, employees are regarded as full-time if they ordinarily work 35 hours or more per week.
General government sector. Government departments and other entities that provide largely non-market public services and are funded mainly through taxes and other compulsory levies.
General government sector net debt. Selected liabilities (deposits held plus proceeds from advances plus borrowing) minus selected assets (cash and deposits plus investments plus advances outstanding) of the general government sector.
General government sector fiscal balance. The financing requirement of the general government sector. A positive sign, or fiscal surplus, indicates a net lending position; a negative sign, or fiscal deficit, indicates a net borrowing position.
General practice bulk billing rate. The percentage of general practitioner attendances (excluding practice nurse) that are bulk billed.
Gross domestic product. The total market value of goods and services produced within Australia, after deducting the cost of goods and services used up in the process of production but before deducting for depreciation.
Gross state product. Equivalent to gross domestic product except that it refers to production within a state or territory rather than to the nation as a whole.
Gross state product—chain volume measures. Also known as real gross state product, this is a measure used to indicate change in the actual quantity of goods and services produced within a state or territory.
Gross state product per capita. The ratio of the chain volume measure of gross state product to an estimate of the resident state population.
Labour force. The employed plus the unemployed.
Labour force participation rate. The number of persons in the labour force expressed as a percentage of the civilian population aged 15 years and over.
Labour productivity. Gross state product (chain volume measures) per hour worked in all sectors (i.e. market and non-market sectors).
Long-term unemployed. Persons unemployed for a period of 52 weeks or more.
Male total average weekly earnings. Weekly ordinary time earnings plus weekly overtime earnings of all male employees. This measure of earnings is used in the process of benchmarking pensions.
Private health insurance hospital coverage rate. The percentage of the total population that has private health insurance hospital coverage.
Real average weekly earnings. Average weekly earnings adjusted for inflation as measured by the Consumer Price Index.
Re-exports. To export imported goods or services.
Total fertility rate. The average number of children that females will bear during their lifetime.
Turnover. Includes retail sales; wholesale sales; takings from repairs, meals and hiring of goods; commissions from agency activity; and net takings from gaming machines. Turnover includes the Goods and Services Tax.
Unemployed persons. Persons aged 15 years and over who, during a period of one week, were not employed but had actively looked for work in the previous four weeks and were available to start work.
Unemployment rate. The number of unemployed persons expressed as a percentage of the labour force.
Wage price index. A measure of change in the price of labour (i.e. wages and salaries) unaffected by changes in the quality or quantity of work performed.
Youth unemployment. Number of 15–19 year olds looking for full-time work.
Youth unemployment rate. Number of 15–19 year olds looking for full-time work expressed as a percentage of the full-time labour force of the same age group.
. The term liveability refers to high and increasing median house prices and high household weekly rents. However, this can also be viewed as a positive for investors.
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