The Pilbara is home to the most positive businesses of any WA region, according to a new report that found that 64 per cent of respondents have a positive long-term outlook despite major labour shortages. The new findings come in the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA’s Regional Pulse report which showed that three out of five respondent businesses maintained a strong long-term outlook. This is despite the report also finding that 100 per cent of surveyed Pilbara businesses said that labour shortages were a barrier to their growth and 91 per cent recorded that they currently had a skilled labour shortage. CCIWA chief economist Aaron Morey said that given how strong the region’s economy was, labour shortages had little impact on business confidence. “If you’re a household or business and the money is coming in what we find is confidence is really resilient,” he said. “If there is plenty of economic activity and opportunity, even if there are these supply-side challenges, like a shortage of workers, confidence can remain quite strong.” The report showed that the Wheatbelt and the South West regions had the worst long-term outlook with 58 per cent and 57 per cent of surveyed businesses recording that they were less optimistic about their future. Mr Morey said that the strong confidence in the Pilbara was largely due to the resource sector even for businesses in non-mining industries. “We’ve done some survey work on how the resource sector flows through the economy,” he said. “Across the State, we’ve found that 23 per cent of household income comes from a mining or resources sector business. “We’ve identified how the resource sector flows through the WA economy and what we have seen over generations is that due to the strength of that sector other businesses from other industries have emerged.” Mr Morey said that when other industries like engineering, professional services, and retail are surveyed they record that they are highly reliant on the resource industry. The Pilbara also recorded the most positive response for short-term conditions with 55 per cent of businesses maintaining a strong outlook for growth over the next three months.