More Australian workers looking west

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Premier Mark McGowan's mission to lure workers to Western Australia looks to be paying dividends with interstate migration on the rise.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures indicate WA had a net increase of almost 12,000 interstate migrants between July 2020 and the end of last year.

Of those, 4970 arrived in the three months to December 31, the highest quarterly increase recorded in WA in 40 years of tracking.

WA did not fully reopen its interstate borders until the following March, bringing an end to almost two years of significant COVID-19 travel restrictions.

Mr McGowan has pushed heavily during the pandemic for the mining industry to relocate its fly-in, fly-out workforce to WA.

His Labor government has also offered generous incentives for skilled workers to move west.

WA had reported a net loss of interstate migrants in the three years prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, although the decline had been steadily tracking lower.

Net migration has fallen heavily in NSW and Victoria during the pandemic with Queensland the major beneficiary.

A recent national survey by research firm SEC Newgate suggests WA is likely to continue attracting workers.

Around one in 10 of the 1200 people surveyed said they would seriously consider moving to WA or were already planning to do so.

Respondents highlighted WA's "great weather", better job opportunities, lifestyle and natural environment and reasonable property prices.

The survey also highlighted strong approval ratings for the McGowan government.

Its performance was rated between good and excellent by 73 per cent of respondents, compared to 39 per cent in NSW and 45 per cent in Victoria.

With WA's unemployment rate sitting at just 3.1 per cent, the state government has also looked overseas to attract much-needed workers.

Mr McGowan recently travelled to Europe to promote the state, highlighting opportunities in healthcare, hospitality and construction.

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