The report by Curtin University showed the proportion of the workforce employed in mining had decreased over the last two years by 2 per cent from its peak in 2012 and sits at 7. 5 per cent.
However the chamber said the focus was shifting away from mining and towards small business to provide job opportunities, as economic growth slows to about 4 per cent.
Meanwhile, a report into WA‘s labour force found it is in transition and while mining continued to play an important part in the state’s economy, it still ranked behind other sectors.
“We will see growth decline and we won’t realise the new jobs or the new opportunities that would otherwise be available to us, so things will slow down and we will wonder what happened to the opportunities that we spoke of,” she said. ‘We need to keep an eye on where we sit comparatively with the rest of the world and makes sure that we remain a very attractive place to invest and to start new businesses and to develop new ideas”.
The CCI said the WA economy had grown 62 per cent over the past decade during the mining investment boom, or an average of just over 4. 9 per cent annually.
Red tape has been identified as the major hurdle for new businesses as Western Australia turns from mining to small business to create employment.
WA’s Chamber of Commerce and Industry has released its vision for the state over the next two decades, describing its State of the Future report as a blueprint for beyond the mining boom.
Professor Duncan said the rates of Indigenous employment in WA were also disappointing, with little change recorded despite strong economic growth providing more employment opportunities in the state in recent years.
“Despite this, the share of the WA workforce employed in the mining sector (at 7. 5 per cent) ranks only sixth behind retail (at 10. 7 per cent), construction (10. 1 per cent), and health care and social assistance (10 per cent).
The report also revealed WA full-time workers are among the nation’s best paid, earning 13 per cent more than the national average, but found women are paid an average of 25 per cent less than men, higher than the national average of 17 per cent.
Spokesman Professor Alan Duncan said the the mining sector ranked sixth behind other sectors in providing jobs.
Read more here: ABC