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Worker in front of a compactor on site at the Ord East Kimberley Expansion

Photo: Worker in front of a compactor on site at the Ord East Kimberley Expansion. MG Corporation.

Employment levels are integral to the productivity and growth of the Kimberley economy, and key to improving the quality of life in our region. Higher levels of labour force participation and employment results in greater levels of overall income, output and community well-being.

The Kimberley unemployment rate has been consistently higher than the State unemployment rate, a situation typical of regional and remote areas. The breakdown of labour force numbers and unemployment by Local Government Area can be seen in the interactive graphs below.

Labour Force

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Kimberley unemployment rates by Local Government Area

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The region aspires to labour market outcomes that mirror the norms that apply across the State and the nation. Outcomes of this scale will transform the Kimberley both economically and socially. Transformational changes are required as outlined in the Kimberley Development Commission Blueprint.

The aspirational population in 2036 of in excess of 90,000 people will require over 30,000 jobs to achieve labour market participation rates that are consistent with the rest of Western Australia. Indigenous people will need to become more engaged in 18,300 new jobs.  The current and future population targets and jobs required to meet participation rates in line with that of the rest of the State are outlined in our Blueprint publication.

Employment by Industry

The Kimberley Blueprint and its key stakeholders are committed to generating over 15,000 new jobs from the region’s comparative advantage industries. If employment in all other industries grows at approximately the same rate  as population growth, a further 18,000 – 19,000 jobs could be generated by 2036.

The Kimberley ‘tree map’ below illustrates the number of people employed according to sector as at the 2016 Census. Out of a total of 15,084 jobs, Health Care & Social Assistance (15.88%); Education and Training (13.40%); and Accommodation and Food services (9.27%) are the top three primary employers in the Kimberley, followed by Public Administration (9.18%), Construction (7.86%) and Retail Trade (7.14%). The mining industry employed an estimated 640 persons or 4.24% of total jobs in the Kimberley.

Page last updated: Fri Jun 4 2021 4:15:25 PM

Contact Us

Don't hesitate to call the Kimberley Development Commission with any queries or comments.

Send an Enquiry

7 Ebony Street (PO Box 620)
Kununurra Western Australia 6743

T: +61 8 9148 2100

Upstairs: Cnr Napier & Dampier Terrace (PO Box 172)
Broome, Western Australia 6725

T: +61 8 9194 3000

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