WA's jobless spike, two new virus cases

More than 10,000 people joined WA's unemployment queue in June, taking the jobless rate to 8.7%.
More than 10,000 people joined WA's unemployment queue in June, taking the jobless rate to 8.7%.

Western Australia's jobless rate has continued to grow despite the easing of coronavirus restrictions, amid calls for greater screening of interstate arrivals.

More than 10,000 people joined WA's unemployment queue in June, taking the jobless rate to 8.7 per cent - second only to South Australia.

It comes as WA recorded two new virus cases on Thursday, both returned overseas travellers who are in hotel quarantine.

Four people recovered overnight, leaving the state with 27 active cases.

Treasurer Ben Wyatt noted that WA had also recorded increases in employment and said he expected the data to remain "slightly contradictory" in coming months due to changes to the way people on JobSeeker were captured.

He said the Australian Bureau of Statistics figures only captured the easing of some restrictions within WA and the state was almost back to pre-COVID levels of job advertisements.

"That's an important sign for Western Australians that businesses are coming back into the space of looking for employees," he told reporters.

Mr Wyatt conceded the figures were confronting but defended the state's hard border closures, saying it had insulated the economy.

"The hard border closure, I think, is what's allowing the employment growth to come through now," he said.

"Certainly if we'd had outbreaks of community spread of the coronavirus, you wouldn't have seen the increase in those employment numbers because you would have seen further restrictions."

Opposition leader Liza Harvey said the government hadn't done enough to support small businesses and needed to give West Australians reasons for optimism.

Anyone flying into WA from Victoria is now being immediately tested for COVID-19 and then again on day 11 of their 14-day quarantine period.

Australian Medical Association WA president Andrew Miller on Thursday called for the tighter controls to be applied to all interstate arrivals.

He said allowing crowds of up to 30,000 to attend AFL games at Optus Stadium, starting with Thursday night's clash between Geelong and Collingwood, was a "huge gamble".

"A super-spreader event will make this the dumbest football game that was ever played," he said.

"We've just got to be hoping and praying that the people who go along there apply very high standards to their separation, to their personal hygiene, that they wear a mask and take hand (sanitiser) with them."

WA has not had any confirmed community transmission since April.

Australian Associated Press