The Effect of the Resources Boom on the Population and Labour Market of Western Australia


Anne Garnett, Murdoch Business School, Murdoch University, South Street, Murdoch, WA 6150, Australia. Email:


During the 2000s, Australia experienced a rapid and substantial resources boom. The impacts from this boom were particularly felt in Western Australia, which has the largest share of mining revenue as a proportion of both gross state product and exports. Some states have reported that although mining export earnings have risen due to strong commodity prices, there was less impact on the populations, labour markets and regional development than may have been expected. This paper will investigate the impact of the mining boom on the population and labour markets of Western Australia. Of particular policy relevance are skilled labour shortages and the effects that any changes in population and employment have on the remote communities where the majority of the mining activities are located.