Hendy Cowan

Hendy Cowan


    Small business shows strong growth

    13/10/2000 6:00 AM

      Western Australia’s small business sector continues to exceed the national average in terms of business growth and employment, according to Minister for Small Business Hendy Cowan.

      Mr Cowan said small businesses employed a large proportion of the State’s private sector workforce.

      He said the growth in employment in the small business sector complemented WA’s status as the nation’s leader in small business growth.

      “For the past 15 years, WA has outperformed all other states. Its small business growth rate - at 4.9 per cent - is higher than the national average of 3.7 per cent,” the Minister said.

      “This growth has been a major factor in WA consistently recording unemployment rates below the national average. The latest figures, released yesterday, saw unemployment down to 5.9 per cent - a 10-year low.”

      Mr Cowan said that between 1997-1998 and 1998-1999, the number of people employed by small businesses in WA increased by 4.2 per cent. Nationwide, the number of small business employees increased by 3.2 per cent over the same period.

      In 1998-1999, a total of 332,800 people were employed by the WA small business sector, representing 48.3 per cent of the private sector workforce.

      This comprised 82,500 ‘own account’ workers (ie. people operating their own unincorporated economic enterprise or engaging independently in a profession or trade, and hiring no employees), 34,500 employers, and 215,800 employees of small businesses.

      Across Australia, small business employees accounted for 46.8 per cent of the private sector workforce in 1998-1999. A total of 3,119,600 people were employed by the sector, comprising 658,300 own account workers, 299,500 employers, and 2,161,800 employees.

      A Small Business Fact Sheet has been produced by the Small Business Development Corporation (SBDC) and is available by contacting SBDC on 9220-0216 or by visiting the SBDC website at http://www.sbdc.com.au

      The SBDC, together with the Business Enterprise Centre (BEC) network, can assist small businesses be better prepared, increase their business skills and optimise opportunities.

      Media contact: Peter Jackson 9222-9595