Perth… Doom and Gloom or Looking Good?

28 July 2018 Jeff Grbelja

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Has the WA economy and population been hard done by?
Misguided by the resources sector?
Victims of greed?

I’m sure there are a multitude of answers, thoughts, cursing and no doubt heated conversations that have taken place over recent times.

I have lived in Perth for the past 13 years, I have seen slow markets, average economies, steady growth, silly boom times, and of course the aftermath that still is the topic and blame, for so much negativity and down talk.

Don’t get me wrong, working in the recruitment and employment sector, my team and I see first-hand just how competitive the job market is.  We speak daily with job seekers who have been actively seeking work for lengthy periods of time.  We also experience the positives of those clients and individuals whom we assist in filling vacancies for and placing in new positions.

It’s tough for us too, clients constantly trying to slash costs and save money whether it’s, offshoring, headcount reduction or simply not investing in their business by way of external recruitment spend.


The resources boom, as with any rapid increase in financial market status and earning potential, attracted a number of companies and individuals to the WA economy, all chasing the dollar.

House prices increased –  too fast in my opinion.
Salaries and contract rates increased – too high and too fast in my opinion.
People’s earning expectations increased – too much in my opinion.
Individual’s level of debt increased – too much and too quickly in my opinion

Who’s to blame: 

Employers for throwing so much money at people?
The people themselves for believing they were worth it?
The Banks for continually approving home loans on rapidly increasing property prices?
The media for feeding the Hype….?
Recruiters for helping people get more money….? (not guilty!) had to throw that in before someone else did.

The long and the short of it is – a boom is a boom, and to think it is continually sustainable and will not tail off, is at the very least short-sighted.
Many might argue that things have dipped far beyond the point of tailing off, but is that not just a comparison to an unnaturally high and non-sustainable market?

Levelling Out

Are we heading back to some levels of normality? I believe so!
Salary and rate expectations have finally moved more in line with what is available.  (If you hiked up on debt, that’s a hard one to deal with-but you can’t blame other people)

Are employers showing more confidence in hiring? yes I believe so, there is increased recruitment activity by a number of organisations.

Remember we are trying to reach a level of what is/was considered normal before the boom and the hype.

Positive Human Activity

This weekend I visited Perth City, Northbridge, Leederville and Mindarie (it was my birthday).  There seems to be no shortage of people being socially active or spending money on food, drink and generally what seems like shopping for fun, and as much as the housing and construction market has taken a hit, there seems no shortage of new home and commercial construction taking place. (both metro and suburbia) New developments, freeway extensions, train-line extensions etc.

Perth does not look like a city in peril to me, it looks like a vibrant, growing, changing and exciting place to be and live in.

We cannot compare to what was a few years back, but what is now and what will be.

Shout out to Employers

If you have played your part in the boom, you have also played your part in the bust.
Now it’s time to play you part in the levelling out process.
Calling out to all CEOs, COOs, CIOs and MDs
There is some fantastic talent available in Perth.
Why not take advantage of them and keep the wheels of industry turning.

New financial year: Get that business case/budget approved and get those projects happening.

Offshoring to save $$$ – re-think it and keep it local.

Too much of a gamble to press the start button on new projects or just playing the no risk at all card?

If the leaders of Perth industry and commerce cannot help us continue levelling things out who can?

Is Perth over and done, are we finished?

NO not by a long-shot!

It’s time to dig in people of Perth, stop looking back and keep looking forward.
I know me and my team are doing all we can to play our part in helping with the levelling out process.

Are you?

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