What the labour market looks like

I thought I’d have a look at the number of employed persons in Australia (seasonally adjusted ABS cat. 6202.0) over the past five years.

Update: Don Arthur over at Club Troppo interprets this graph as showing that Kevin Rudd caused the GFC. Don is one of the more smarter social democrats, so it’s unsurprising they can’t handle money or manage an economy.

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25 Responses to What the labour market looks like

  1. Token

    It is said we are importing skilled labour, therefore there must be barriers to employment over and above the IR legislation.

    Is there any indication what the “Full” employment # would be across that time?

  2. ar

    Hmm, one might get the impression it doesn’t matter who is in government, employment rises regardless. Any breakdown on public and private employment?

  3. Infidel Tiger

    The rise in the population of Canberra is the scary graph.

  4. Ooh Honey Honey

    What happened in Sept 09?

  5. papachango

    What happened in Sept 09?

    I think that was the point that people finally syareted to realise that the GFC wasn’t going to mean the end of the world as we know it.

  6. papachango

    What happened in Sept 09?

    I think that was the point that people finally syareted to realise that the GFC wasn’t going to mean the end of the world as we know it.

  7. Capitalist Piggy

    “What happened in Sept 09?”

    Part of the explanation is the start of the BER. In the June quarter 2009 the value of building commencements in the education sector was $1.03bn. The average over the previous year was around $1bn a quarter. In previous years it was around $0.8bn per quarter.

    But then it spiked to a massive $5.3bn in the September quarter 2009, and remained relatively high through to the end of 2010:

    Dec 09: $3.6bn
    Mar 10: $3.7bn
    Jun 10: $2.9bn
    Sep 10: $2.4bn
    Dec 10: $1.9bn
    Mar 11: $1.1bn

    Source: 8752.0 – Building Activity, Australia, Mar 2011, Table 60, Column AX.

  8. m0nty

    Pretty good effort to only be flat while the GFC smashed into us.

  9. Sinclair Davidson

    Pretty good effort to only be flat while the GFC smashed into us.

    Not really – the government claims to have created jobs during the GFC.

  10. Fisky

    It cost up to $400,000 per job created or saved (they could never make their mind up on that) too.

    No, Keynesianism is a bust.

  11. daddy dave

    Pretty good effort to only be flat while the GFC smashed into us.

    The GFC didn’t smash into us.

  12. Judith Sloan

    An interesting way of looking at this this is to compare the change in employed persons with the change in average hours. What seems to be very clear in 2008-09 when WorkChoices was still operational is that adjustment to the downturn occurred through hours rather than heads, a much better outcome on equity and probably efficiency grounds, compared with previous downturns.

    Note also that the full impact of the Fair Work Act is now only being felt as old agreements expire. There is no way we are going to get to Swan’s 500,000 jobs in the next two years given the way we are going.

  13. wreckage

    The GFC was the USA/EU FC, was based on both areas overexposure to bad debt, and was never going to touch us. Just like the Asian FC didn’t.

  14. johno

    ‘The GFC was the USA/EU FC, was based on both areas overexposure to bad debt, and was never going to touch us. Just like the Asian FC didn’t.’

    Quite right. What hurt Australia th emost – the North Alantic FC or the government’s response to it?

    I know my answer.

  15. Capitalist Piggy

    “the whole crisis actually was very much a North Atlantic crisis. It was really only a global crisis for six or eight weeks, I think. The rest of it is mainly a North Atlantic story.”
    – Glenn Stevens

  16. thefrollickingmole

    I wouldnt be so quick to dismiss the uncertainty around the GFC. If China had pulled back we would have a one speed economy now, stalled.

    As it turned out we were largely insulated due to minerals demand, and sound banking practices in Australia.

    Doesnt excuse the waste on the stimulus though. Didnt it work out something like “no income taxes for a year” for everyone in Australia as the cost?

    Wouldnt that be a stimulus worth having?

  17. neil

    Monty – <blockquotePretty good effort to only be flat while the GFC smashed into us.
    Yes a great effort; but in reality we were never really touched by the GFC; but GFC2 is a different kettle of fish!

  18. Ooh Honey Honey

    The GFC didn’t smash into us.

    No. It’s just about to

  19. PSC

    For a “FC that didn’t smash into us” we did in essence lose a regional bank, had another which looked pretty sick, and had umpteen billion of govt guarantees applied to our banks’ funding. We had numbers of interestingly timed share placement plans in the finance sector, and very attractive DRP discounts. The property sector was kept alive with dilutive rights issues. We had one lender mortgage provider bought out, and another’s reinsurance arrangements look very substantially different to 3 years ago. We had insanely expansive monetary and fiscal policy.

  20. JC

    I agree with you PSC for all those things, although you’ve mentioned more than I have in the past. I can’t believe people think we skirted the crisis, especially the banks when they were kept alive with guarantees and then nearly all had to dilute because of some decent writedowns.

  21. PSC

    I was once at a presentation – years ago – talking about the Keating track record. The presenter put up a slide and proceeded to describe the economy falling over under Keating.

    Then he put up a slide and showed the economy the world falling over at the same time.

    The tongue in cheek comment – “Keating was such a shocking treasurer/PM – not only did he wipe out Australia, he managed to take out the rest of the world too”

  22. Pingback: Club Troppo » Missing Link Friday – unions, wheelchairs, virtual horses etc

  23. Alphonse

    Those vertical red yellow and black lines ob the graph are astonishingly arbitrary.

  24. daddy dave

    Those vertical red yellow and black lines ob the graph are astonishingly arbitrary.

    Uh, no. They mark policy changes that influence the labor market.

    And by a freaky coincidence, the chart changes direction every time it hits one of those lines (except for the last election).

  25. Sancho

    What was employment doing before the graph started?

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