Gender Equity Insights 2016
This first report in the BCEC | WGEA Gender Equity Insights series seeks to add to and strengthen the evidence base that exists around gender pay gaps throughout Australian workplaces. The report uses unique data reported to WGEA, capturing 4 million workers and more than 12,000 employers in the 2014-15 reporting period.
The report findings draw attention to the greater remuneration men receive compared to women in almost every scenario, but particulary in more senior occupation levels. The large and persistent gender pay gaps among managers highlights the likely evidence of biased behaviours throughout organisations, where men are given preferential pay treatment over women in senior management levels.
Keeping a Roof Over Our Heads
This seventh report in the Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre’s Focus on Western Australia series addresses the topic of housing affordability, a major economic and social issue facing West Australian households.
This is the centre’s second housing affordability report. It provides fresh insights into housing affordability in Western Australia by documenting changes in the state’s affordability trends since the release of the first housing affordability report in 2014.
Securing Our Future
Western Australia’s population is growing older. The median age of West Australians is set to increase from 36 years today to 40 years by 2050. During that time the proportion of West Australians aged 65 and over is projected to increase from 13% to 18% in 2050. In many respects this ageing is a positive development: it reflects that West Australians are living longer, healthier lives and growing in affluence. However, population ageing also brings challenges.
Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright?
There is a general sense of unease with the recent slowdown in China’s economic growth. Large businesses and the State’s finances have suffered as a result. But is China the ‘be all and end all’ of the focus on Western Australia trade policies and objectives? What new trading opportunities with other Asian countries exist for WA businesses, and how well positioned are the State’s businesses to expand the scale and composition of its trade with Asian partners?
The Cost of Doing Business in WA
The cost of doing business in Western Australia has long been a rhetoric heard and discussed throughout the state, with increased economic activity in recent times exacerbating the issue. The geography of the state, with its capital – Perth, one of the most isolated cities on earth, together with the majority of its land area classified as ‘remote’ or ‘very remote’ can add to cost pressures, making business operations more challenging than might otherwise be the case.
Workforce and Skills
The resources industry has been the driving force behind Western Australia’s remarkable economic trajectory over the last two decades, delivering billions of tonnes of iron ore to steel mills around the world. WA has prospered, wages have soared and unemployment has fallen to levels that have been the envy of the world. Yet there are strong indications that the West Australian economy is undergoing a period of change.
The cost of housing in Western Australia has been a recurrent theme in discussions in West Australian homes, businesses and the policy environment. A long held perception is that housing affordability in the state has spiralled out of control, with rents along with house prices escalating at a rate that many households find hard to keep pace with. To what extent is this true, and which households feel the greatest financial pressure from housing costs?
Sharing the Boom
Along with its relaxed lifestyle and beautiful beaches, Western Australia is arguably most recognised for the riches to be found under its red earth and clear blue oceans. International demand for iron ore, and the strength of China as a major trading partner, has transformed the state’s economic fortunes over the past two decades. But we know less than we should about the impact the resource boom has had on the economic circumstances of typical Western Australian families across the length and breadth of the state.
Positioned for an ideas boom?
New sources of growth have become a policy priority for many jurisdictions following the sustained period of slow growth post-Global Financial Crisis (GFC). Governments are trying to grapple with the policy dilemmas of slow productivity growth, disruptive technologies, and population changes. In Australia, we have seen the Government take steps aimed at improving economic growth, prosperity, increased productivity and innovation.
Beyond the Bottom Line
The concept of public debt and the importance of contextualising debt within the business cycle are considered. Australia’s current and historical debt positions are examined and questions around whether fiscal pressures are stemming from the expenditure or revenue side of the equation explored. How State and Territory governments are faring in respect to levels and changes in indebtedness is examined along with spending on servicing debt.
Beyond Our Means
The ability of both households and governments to increase savings and manage debt has been an ongoing policy issue in Australia and throughout the world. Debt can be a good thing if it encourages real asset growth beyond that of interest repayments, as long as it does not interfere with other important economic activity.
Falling Through the Cracks
The concept of disadvantage is one that invokes a number of connotations, including poverty, exclusion and deprivation. Generally disadvantage relates to a lack of resources and opportunity to achieve a basic standard of living. Our intention with this report is to add a much needed perspective to the national debate around poverty by examining just how deep income poverty extends throughout Australian households and what factors exacerbate the incidence and depth of poverty.
Energy Poverty in Western Australia
Energy poverty is a prevalent and growing issue affecting the wellbeing of millions of households across the globe. Access to affordable energy services is frequently seen as a pre-requisite for economic growth in developing countries and has been associated with improvements to health and social mobility in more developed economies.
WA Wine Exports
Australian wine production has had a fair share of ups and downs in the past 10 years. More recently, overproduction, the high value of the dollar, and global competition from rapidly improving New World wine producers has strained the industry. Revenue has declined. Exports have softened. An estimated 85% to 90% of producers are unprofitable. Some producers have sold off land, ripped out vines, or otherwise have been forced to close up shop.