This briefing paper shows that the two intercensul periods for Port Hedland were very different. In the 2001-2006, Port Hedland experienced contraction in employment, including the mining industry. The impact of the resources boom is particularly evident with strong job creation and employment growth in the 2006-2011 period. However, consistent with its position as a resource hub, the Port Hedland economy became increasingly specialised with most jobs created in mining and mining support industries; that is, Port Hedland has a strong comparative advantage but some vulnerability because of it reliance on mining related activities, and the potential for challenges to its long run economic resilience. Notably, the growth rate of the small industry sectors was highly variable over the 2006-2011 period. Throughout the 2001-2011 period, health care and social services was an important employer for Port Hedland but relative to the rest of the Western Australian economy, it did not represent comparative advantage.
In the 2001-2006 period, Port Hedland had comparative advantage in the following sectors: Rental, hiring & real estate services Public administration & safety Mining Construction Electricity, gas, water & waste services Transport, postal & warehousing Administrative and support services Industries inadequately stated
In the same period, Port Hedland had competitive advantage in the following sectors: Rental, hiring & real estate services Construction Transport, postal & warehousing
In the 2006-2011 period, Port Hedland had comparative advantage in the following sectors: Rental, hiring & real estate services Mining Construction Administrative and support services