Is Australian unemployment low?

Update January 24, 2013: Wayne Swan was out and about yesterday claiming that Australia has a low unemployment rate.

The Treasurer said that Tony Abbott’s “prediction of legs of lamb costing $100, and Gladstone and Whyalla being wiped out (by the carbon tax) have come to nought”. However, he acknowledged that – despite the rate of unemployment remaining low – there were “sectors in the Australian economy which are impacted by the higher dollar, a cautious consumer and global volatility”.

So I thought I’d remind everyone that isn’t true – by Australian policy standards unemployment is high. This post from November 2012 will be sticky for today.

Original post begins.
We keep hearing that Australia’s unemployment rate is pretty low. To be sure compared to some of the unemployment rates in Europe that is true – but then that has always been true.

Unemployment is Europe is high – but what does that say about unemployment in Australia? Well not much. When deciding whether unemployment can be considered high or low we need to have a sensible comparison. We should be comparing actual unemployment rates to estimates of the natural rate of unemployment or the non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment (NAIRU). These two concepts are not quite the same but there are many estimates of NAIRU for Australia so let’s look at that.

Late in 2007 Treasury official Steven Kennedy told the NSW Economics Society:

… the NAIRU is currently around 4.7 per cent, although there is a considerable band of uncertainty around this estimate.

More reassuringly, our current estimate of the NAIRU for Australia is similar to those for other developed countries. For example, in 2007 the Congressional Budget Office (US Congress) estimates a NAIRU of 4.8 per cent for the US. Further, as for Australia, estimates for other countries have been steadily falling over recent years.

The 2010 Intergenerational Report:

IGR 2010 assumes a NAIRU of 5 per cent, the same rate assumed in IGR 2007.

The 2010-11 MYEFO:

The tight labour market and the pick-up in aggregate demand associated with the higher terms of trade will also have implications for inflation, with Treasury’s most recent estimates of the non-accelerating inflation rate of unemployment (NAIRU) — the rate of unemployment at which inflation pressures start to emerge — ranging between 4½ and 5 per cent.

The 2011-12 MYEFO:

The unemployment rate is projected to be 5 per cent over the medium term, the assumption that has long been used for medium-term projections, and near the top of the band of current estimates of the NAIRU (4½ to 5 per cent).

Okay – so Treasury reckons unemployment should be between 4.5% and 5%. Now see the the switch in the 2012-13 MYEFO:

Australia’s unemployment rate is forecast to remain low, albeit rising slightly from 5¼ per cent in the September quarter 2012 to 5½ per cent by the end of 2012-13, consistent with moderate employment growth over the forecast period. Australia’s low unemployment rate stands in stark contrast with the high unemployment rates in the major advanced economies and is an important measure of Australia’s relative economic strength.

I downloaded the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate from the ABS and graphed the data along with the 4.5% and 5% range estimates for the NAIRU.

By Treasury estimates of the NAIRU Australian unemployment is high – that explains why the last MYEFO moved the goal posts.

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130 Responses to Is Australian unemployment low?

  1. Jim Rose

    is the unemployment rate a meaningful measure? Prescott prefers trends in hours worked per working age person.

  2. Jim Rose

    Richard Rogerson showed using employment to population ratios rather than unemployment rates, the deterioration of the European labour market began not in the 1980s, but in the mid-1950s and continues to the mid 1990s. That suggests that the unemployment rate is a fragile barometer of labour market health.

    He also reviewed the literature to find that the long run, frictional, average, equilibrium, normal, full employment, steady state, Hodrick-Prescott trend and natural unemployment rates were used interchangeably.

  3. Alice

    No its not low when idiots keep raising Nairu as a wau to excuse themselves from what boils down to an obsessive one eyed focus on infaltion (which isnt the macroeconomic problem) and a complete turning of their bcaks on unemployment (which is the most important economic problem now).
    I dont know who paid the centrak bank to be bankers (wankers) for the big banks and send the rest of us to hell with fancy words (we et all find that nairu has increaed and therefore we shoudl all still be happy that we are BAIRU even if the unmeployment rate is higher ….errr…what this implies is ahem ..permanently?)
    Lets not focus on the central bank and the job it ISNT DOING ie maintaing full employment (without fudging the bloody numbers)

    You guys can swallow the crap but I dont. This country went thirty years post war with 1 to 2 percent unemployment. These dickheads are saying we should now live with five or 6% and it has nothing to do with our policy making kings in govt and treasury??

    Bull it doesnt. They are doing a crap job of running the great market economy (or not running it depending on your poison) and trying to sell a pup.
    The pup is a new higher permanent level in NAIRU that we all appaently should tolerate.

  4. Alice

    Bugger it – pissed off with this bullshit “higher nairu” (incompetent economic managers cause this) – not wearing glasses – typing too fast – spell bad and I couldnt ctually care less about my spelling.
    But I doi care about liars in economic policy and the central bank.

  5. Sinclair Davidson

    Alice – the splelinspelling goes when you’re angry. :)

  6. Alice

    Lets just recap Australia shall we? We have a population a few over 20 mill. We are an incredibly rich country in raw resources. Plus we have plenty of land that is arable.
    We have a tiny population compared to other countries, large resources,

    and pardon me but did I hear that we have to now tolerate a 5% unemployment rate?

    Someone in this country is fucking with the citizens heads.

  7. Alice

    Sinc – you are dead right. I was only ever a two finger typist. Taught myself and fast enough but… Its not ideal.

  8. Sinclair Davidson

    … did I hear that we have to now tolerate a 5% unemployment rate?

    Yes you did. Makes me very angry too. I think it’s immoral to choose a suite of policies and institutions that will result in 5% of the working population being unemployed.

  9. Jim Rose

    Australia did have 1 to 2 percent unemployment in the Menzies era. another big tick for big ming. It was Whitlam who killed the goose that laid the golden egg.

    I have not seen any explanation for the low unemployment in Australia (and NZ) in the 1950s and 1960s. Both countries had conservative governments in office of most to all of that time from 1949 to 1972!

  10. Sinclair Davidson

    Jim – see here and here.

    (In response to early comments).

  11. I fear we are coming to a point that the USSR came to in the 80s. Official statistics were so massaged that any attempt to plan using them could only end in economic chaos.
    I remember an interview with a doctor on some show who said that he was only allowed to admit so many persons per month as alcohol abuse related admissions. So they just fudged diagnoses to fit the figures.
    Are we in the West going down the same route?
    I strongly suspect so.

  12. JC

    I have not seen any explanation for the low unemployment in Australia (and NZ) in the 1950s and 1960s.

    Labor rates were below the clearing rate. It’s not that difficult Jim. It seems lots of people forget that the labor market is a market like any other that responds to demand and supply.

    And yes, you can have a regulated labor market experiencing full employment if the factor cost is set below the clearing rate. That’s what happened in the 50s and 60s.

  13. Alice

    Anyway where is Dot – my friendly enem?. Id like to tell him I downloaded that book “Rich Kids” about Jodee Rich.

    aka John David Rich. Its a very interesting read on Imagineering and Onetel and Jodee’s flaws but having said that, the guy could build momentum fast in an organisation, if the flaws lay in in his total inability to recognise looming cost constraints.

    As for the fast momentum building – the flat organisational structure and lack of hierarchical barriers had a lot to do with it (and I have to say he excelled in that) – no real pecking orders so people got pecked less often from within etc and can move faster – he had an aversion to meetings (who doesnt? They are such timewasters and insisted when they were needed they were ti be called “huddles”.

    You know – its a bit more lovely dovey sort of and I can see why some of his ideas worked.
    Loved the onetel “we are not an email organisation” and banned email use within Onetel.

    You know, thats an interesting concept – makes people actually talk to each other? Shame about his inability to launch the beancounters controls when he should have both times..
    Almost complete lack of ability to pull the belt in when needed but could pull in staff loyalty big time to momentum sales building.

    That lack of careful financial restraint when needed was Jodee’s mistake (both times).

    Ill go back to the beach and keep reading tomorrow but Dot – its not a bad read.

  14. Alice

    Sinc says
    “Yes you did. Makes me very angry too. I think it’s immoral to choose a suite of policies and institutions that will result in 5% of the working population being unemployed.”

    You bet. Im with you. A tad pissed off about that.

  15. Infidel tiger

    Not to mention the 10% of the population they’ve classified as disabled so they don’t have to look for work.

  16. Alice

    Oh really Infidel? Thats nice – another bloody fib at work.

  17. Jim Rose

    sinclair, thanks for the links.

    on 2% in the 1960s, a longer time to search and match in light of skilled-biased technogical and skill-biased organisation biased change would be a place to start.

    David Autor tells this wonderful story about search and matching over time:

    • In the 1930s, the foreman at a Philadelphian waterfront would hire day labours by throwing apples over the fence into a crowd of gathered workers. Anyone who caught these apples was hired. They passed both the physical and initiative tests.

    • In the 1970s, when general motors wanted to fill a vacancy, they would go to a waiting room at the factory gate and hire anyone who was not an obvious alcoholic.

    These days, in flatter structures where more initiative is expected and less supervision is provided, no one would be let inside a firm without extensive checking. They could do too much damage. Hence the rise and rise of HR departments and competency based interviews.

  18. Alice

    JC – dont also foregt that Menzies had a commanding physical presence and hat was digested by the public in a civilised fashion ie on public radio and public TV which i understand Menzies helped establish (the TV).
    These days politicians get heckled, berated, made fun of in private media much more often.
    Also Menzies wasnt afraid of public building expenditure – he did quite a bit of it – completed Chifleys snowy mountains scheme, expanded the city of Canberra as a federal capital, and spent on both private and public education.

    An all rounder in the post war years, not someone overly caught up in spin, poll watching and nor seemed to be eg as hobbled as todays pollies are by the media and other petty wrong headed ideological verbal wars (with no action on the ground).

  19. Alice

    Jim Rose
    Its the flatter structures that enabled people to hire workers by chucking apples over a gate. Its the more hierarchical organisational structures that generate the three panel interviews where there is a peron from managemnt and a peron from HE plus the person you may call boss present.
    Flatter structures are a good thing.

  20. Jim Rose

    assemby line production up to the 1970s was a cheap way of monitoring worker effort and employee shirking. the decline of unskilled labour intensive manufacturing and rise of the services secter changed all that.

  21. candy

    “Not to mention the 10% of the population they’ve classified as disabled so they don’t have to look for work.”

    That’s where they are, on the DSP.

  22. sdfc

    Given the changes that have occurred in the labour market and the wider economy since the 60s, comparing unemployment rates now and then seems to me a fruitless exercise. For example, a protectionist could just as easily point to the dismantling of the tariff wall as leading to a higher unemployment rate.

  23. JC

    Given the changes that have occurred in the labour market and the wider economy since the 60s, comparing unemployment rates now and then seems to me a fruitless exercise. For example, a protectionist could just as easily point to the dismantling of the tariff wall as leading to a higher unemployment rate.

    FFS, it was the cost of labor at the time. I can’t believe there are people around that don’t think the labor market is governed by the forces of demand and supply.

    Jim Rose thinks HR is causing unemployment.

    Jim do small business have HR departments?

  24. Entropy

    JC, I think sdfc was saying somebody could mount the argument that tariffs gave higher employment (eg Katter), not that sdfc wanted to.

  25. Jim Rose

    JC, my argument is search and matching is taking longer in more human capital rich workplaces. that did not change unemployment in the U.S. – may have in Oz.

    Europe has low unemployment rates in the 1960s for the same reason that it had high unemployment rates from 1980 onwards. employment laws lowered rates of inflow and outflow from the unemployment pool. maybe that was the case in Oz?

  26. JC

    Jim

    The US had an unemployment rate of around 4.2% at it’s low point last decade. HR was was around then big and strong.

  27. Jim Rose

    Data graphed in the 2001 yearbook at http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/Previousproducts/1301.0Feature%20Article142001?opendocument&tabname=Summary&prodno=1301.0&issue=2001&num=&view shows that the Menzies era was the only time since 1900 when Australian unemployment was well below 5%.

    Why was the Menzies era special? Must be a hard question because it has been a place where no labour economist has dared to tread.

  28. JC

    JC, I think sdfc was saying somebody could mount the argument that tariffs gave higher employment (eg Katter), not that sdfc wanted to.

    Ent:

    He argues that the economy of that earlier times was far different and incomparable to now. Well yea, that’s true. However that isn’t an argument why full employment was “fuller” then than it is now.

  29. JC

    Why was the Menzies era special? Must be a hard question because it has been a place where no labour economist has dared to tread.

    So you’re arguing the clearing rate holds no water? Please.

  30. entropy

    Sure JC. He was saying it was a waste of time. Which may or may not be true.
    personally though, I think it is instructive to look at it from the point of view that the partnership between government and big business (high tariffs, various forms of protectionism) allowed wages to be kept lower, and more uniform, than they otherwise would have been. Everyone had a job, they just couldn’t buy much with the money they earned from it.

  31. Jim Rose

    A manager at Ford in 1967 described hiring as follows:

    “If we had a vacancy, we would look outside in the plant waiting room to see if there were any warm bodies standing there. If someone was there and they looked physically OK and weren’t an obvious alcoholic, they were hired”

    Firms now spend much more of recruitment. see p.46 of http://economics.mit.edu/files/4124

  32. JC

    Jim

    Small business isn’t that fastidious and their hiring is material.

    I bet people here once that i could find a job within 3 hours of any work day around where I live.

  33. JC

    Furthermore I would argue that it is the cost of hiring that is causing the more time spent on recruitment, which goes back to the point I was making. Hiring mistakes for large firms can be really costly.

  34. Aaron

    I thought that the participation rate was more informative than the unemployment rate… Harder to fudge.

  35. .

    For example, a protectionist could just as easily point to the dismantling of the tariff wall as leading to a higher unemployment rate.

    No. Stop lying.

  36. Alice

    Infidel – not to mention the unemployed shool leavers they are directing to training, tafe and uni so they are not classified as unemployed either. Not to mention that those school leavers who dont want to or cant afford to go on to uni or tafe, must be in “in trainin” before getting any unemployment benefits and once they are “in trainin” well of course they have been effectively massaged out of unemployment stats.

    Then to add to that is all those people who want to work more but have been cut back, turned into casuals by their old firms who may not be seeing sufficient demand – so then the underemployed rates have seen a steady climb upwards, not over months now but over decades.

    But still the only thing the central bank and treasury ever talks about is non nexistent inflation.

    Nice if we actually employed economists who recognised what the real economic problem is (unemployment).

    Yes lets consider that the entire figure of 5% is a crock of nonsense anyway because its much higher than the post war years and much higher than the the BS figure of 5% they keep putting in the medi.

    Will people who compile these stats STOP LYING or REDEFINE and will politicians stop hiding people just so the nonsense number looks good for them???

    Because we really need to know more about the absolutely pathetic government economic policy decisions that have caused this to occur.

  37. .

    Alice

    Occupational licensing is a beast that must be slayed.

    You can’t teach at TAFE unless you have a Cert IV in TAE.

    You can’t hold up a road sign without a certificate II in god knows what.

    You can’t be employed to watch over property (type A security licence) without a certificate three and about a years work experience with a certificate II.

    You cannot be an inland commercial fisherman on your own boat, working for yourself, without paying $4000 minimum in licensing, including a licence to catch invasive species, and clocking 900 hours on someone else’s boat (to get an “inland coxswain’s rating”) and doing a work cover course.

    You can’t work as a youth worker without a Certificate IV in social work…

    TAFE and the AQF probably go a long way to contribute to structural unemployment.

    Inflation is important too. It destroys wages, savings and creates boom bust cycles.

  38. Rabz

    If the real unemployment rate in this country is 5.4% or thereabouts, then I’m a Nobel Economics Laureate.

    Again, it’s sheer bloody fantasy.

  39. Louis Hissink

    And Dot, the credentialiers also Labor under the illusion that a central bank interest rate of 0% eliminates usury and hence creates a bounty of infinite capital.

    It’s this belief that underpins their economic ignorance that is the problem. Fine tuning the economy by this and that is simply admitting a belief in the command economy being possible.

    And this Certificate IV crap – no more to be said on that ACTU inspired “ticketing” system.

  40. Splatacrobat

    Occupational licensing is a beast that must be slayed.

    Back when I was managing a business and as a back up emergency only I was required to get a forklift licence.
    No problem there, one and a half days practice manouvering around witches hats and I got a lifetime licence. Then almost 10 years later I get a letter saying the licence will now have to be renewed with testing every five years. As the cost of renewal is a small fortune I won’t be renewing.

  41. m0nty

    Ooh, imagine what the December 2012 quarter CPI of 0.2% would have been if unemployment was below 5%? Deflation ahoy! ;)

    Hard to see much upward pressure on inflation from anything. Carbon price, unemployment, fish in China, none of it seems to be budging CPI.

  42. Jc

    If you paid attention to the facts instead of living in virtual reality with a bucket of dunuts you’d think twice about posting swill like that, Monster.

    There are upward impacts and downward ones that impact the CPI. the pwice of carbin has impacted the CPI, there are other parts of the index that have sloped downwards.

    No fucking wonder you failed first year economics, you clown.

    The rise in the price of energy caused by the pwice on carbin and the renewballs quote exacts it’s pound of flesh through it’s disinflationary impact.

    In other words people spend less of other shit. Take an example..you could end up buying that one less bucket of donuts in order to pay for your energy bills. Shit like that.

  43. Jc

    Monst

    Learn a little bit about the disinflationary effects from what I’m about to tell you.

    Take a service or a product that has low elasticity which in your case would be a bucket of donuts. Say Dunkins doubled the price. You of course would rather become roadkill than being forced buy one less bucket per day. So what are your immediate choices? Reduce consumption of other stuff obviously, so that you can continue with your Dunkins obsession.

    Now use that example for the economy using a wide lense and you see the disinflationary impact that higher energy prices has on the consumer.

  44. Rabz

    Hard to see much upward pressure on inflation from anything.

    If you’re using the “basket of goods and services” used to calculate the CPI, then yes.

    I’ve certainly noted some obscene inflationary pressures of late, based on the increases in my bills.

    Good thing I’ve taken to online shopping with such gusto, eh mUttley?!

  45. m0nty

    LOL, a lecture from JC about facts. That’s like getting a lecture from Bernie Madoff about ethics.

  46. Jc

    LOL, a lecture from JC about facts. That’s like getting a lecture from Bernie Madoff about ethics.

    Says Mr Ausboned.

    Look Dickhead, your clock is cleaned every fucking time you ever post a comment here.

    Every single time.

  47. m0nty

    Is Australian unemployment without Queensland low? Yes.

    Is Queensland dragging down the rest of the country with public sector layoffs? Yes.

    Is the Australian electorate getting a taste of what life would be like under Abbott by watching the cluster-F that is Queensland under Campbell Newman? Hell yes.

    Will Abbott win the next election? Signs are pointing towards no.

  48. Rabz

    Will Abbott win the next election? Signs are pointing towards no.

    Will mUttley ever leave fantasy land? Hell no!

  49. Gab

    Notice how monty has diverted attention away from the lying slapper and her gang?

  50. boy on a bike

    Back in the days when Darling Harbour was still a railway goods yard, the foremen would recruite day labourers to load and unload the goods wagons by driving a bus around town to where all the winos hung out. The winos would be dropped off at a pub at the end of the day with a day’s pay.

  51. harrys on the boat

    All the queenslanders I know mOnts are more than happy with Newman, and incredibly happy with the public service redundancies. What is this clusterfuck that you speak of?

    If queensland is a clusterfuck what does that make Tasmania?

    What fucking planet are you on?

  52. Jc

    Is Australian unemployment without Queensland low? Yes.

    No it’s not. Tasmania is, you idiot.

    Is Queensland dragging down the rest of the country with public sector layoffs? Yes.

    our participation rate is markedly lower than it was before the regulation of the labor markets you wanker.

    Is the Australian electorate getting a taste of what life would be like under Abbott by watching the cluster-F that is Queensland under Campbell Newman? Hell yes.

    Yea and they seem to like it. The betting markets suggest no movement in the way the electorate thinks. In other words the Lairs party will be removed from office.

    Will Abbott win the next election? Signs are pointing towards no.

    What signs, monst?

  53. Pedro

    On the ABC it showed tradables way down and non-tradables with continuing inflation. Monty, only you and Swan are dumb enough to think that the inflation number is a good thing in the current circumstances. It is a sign that the economy is weak.

    To the topic, yes, a lot has changed since the 50s and 60s and the labour supply and demand constraints caused by the current govt will slowly but surely make the situation worse.

  54. Pedro

    Monty, if you collect your talking points from kate ellis you’ll sound extra stupid, without the somewhat redeeming physical features.

    The Qld PS layoffs are 14000 max, that’s not dragging down the whole country. It’s not even dragging down Qld. The problems in coal are dragging down qld with lots of projects cancelled or suspended. And guess what govt policies are impacting coal?

  55. John Mc

    QLD rocks under Newman. I would not even think about going south while he’s running the show. Those public sector cut backs and general red tape removal will ensure that QLD is the place to be in the next few years as well.

  56. Jc

    Pedro

    Don’t even bother. Just do what I do and mock the idiot. He failed first year economics and has no idea other than… labor is gooood.

    Don’t forget, Monst is an institutionlist.

  57. John Mc

    That’s like getting a lecture from Bernie Madoff about ethics

    Or a lecture from Monty about economics.

  58. Gab

    Wayne Swanstanza on ABC now having received monty’s talking points above. I guess that’s why monty has disappeared momentarily. He’ll be back when Wayne has stopped yammering.

  59. m0nty

    The Australian unemployment rate excluding Queensland has been skating on for years at just above 5%, and continues to do so. The advent of Newman is the only thing of significance that has changed unemployment in that time.

    Oh, and Tasmania is nowhere near as big a drag on unemployment as Queensland.

  60. amcoz

    The true employment rate should be the total number of hours worked divided by the total number of hours available from those in work and all those looking for work, whether registered with CL or not.

    Obviously, the unemployment rate would be the difference between 100% and the above number and the guvmint’s numbers are just bullshit. And I agree, 5% is high when compared with the times when a pound of wool was worth a pound, which was around 2 or 3% if I can remember, rightly. I think 3% was a disaster in those days.

  61. Jc

    The Australian unemployment rate excluding Queensland has been skating on for years at just above 5%, and continues to do so.

    Northern Territory 3.8
    Australian Capital Territory 4.1
    Western Australia 4.1
    New South Wales 5.1
    South Australia 5.3
    Victoria 5.5
    Queensland 6.0
    Tasmania 6.7

    The advent of Newman is the only thing of significance that has changed unemployment in that time.

    WTF does that even mean you grossed out moron?

    The advent of newman? Lol… You think this is a seinfeld sketch?

    You’re pathetic.

    Oh, and Tasmania is nowhere near as big a drag on unemployment as Queensland.

    So what. It has a higher unemployment rate and scabs off the rest of the country like Sth Australia.

  62. Jc

    lol

    “Jerry, it was the advent of Newman, I tell you. It was the advent of Neman that did it.”

  63. Jc

    Queensland has a debt load of $90 billion. Of course the “advent of Newman” would mean s good number of moochers would have to go.

    They weren’t obviously doing anything productive, so the “advent of Newman” meant he took them off his payroll and stuck the useless critter on the federal one (Centrelink). He didn’t get rid of enough of them.

  64. m0nty

    Queensland is a lot larger than Tasmania, JC. Evidently you needed that to be explained to you.

  65. harrys on the boat

    Only someone with a mental illness could argue that Tasmania is less of a drag on the countries economy than Queensland.

    Leftism, its a fucking mental defect (although one of the greatest albums of all time by Leftfield).

  66. m0nty

    I was talking about unemployment specifically, harry.

  67. Jc

    Queensland is a lot larger than Tasmania, JC. Evidently you needed that to be explained to you.

    Not in terms of transfers it isn’t, Monster, you moron.

    Tasmania takes $200 billion a year from the rest of the country. 65% of the population is on some form of assistance.

  68. Jc

    harry

    He was talking about the “ad vent of Newman”. He’s talking a ventilation system or some shit.

  69. So what are your immediate choices?

    You do realise JC, that Monty lost the plot at that point and is now wailing hysterically and barking at the moon?

  70. Jc

    It was the ad vent of Newman that gave it away, Winston.

  71. Infidel Tiger

    Is Queensland dragging down the rest of the country with public sector layoffs?

    It’s impossible to drag an economy down with public sector layoffs.

    Increased public sector employment is what drags an economy down.

  72. m0nty

    Someone change JC’s pills, he’s repeating like a broken record.

  73. Huckleberry Chunkwot

    m0nty, you have become a parody of yourself.

  74. candy

    It’s underemployment the problem not unemployment as some casual workers struggle to get regular hours. Not every employer can offer permanent jobs but there’s some 2 million casual workers in Aust, all can’t be happy with the juggling act and wondering if they’re employed tomorrow, you know, they’re treated like pawns sometimes.

  75. Harold

    Perhaps we need a new figure “Productively Employed”. Excludes 90 % of the public service.

  76. C.L.

    Is Queensland dragging down the rest of the country with public sector layoffs?

    LOL.

    Yeah, those ‘jobs’ were vital to the economy.

  77. Jc

    Someone change JC’s pills, he’s repeating like a broken record.

    stop bawling because I’m mocking you, Monster.

  78. Jc

    Yeah, those ‘jobs’ were vital to the economy.

    Yea, especially the Qld glimate change department.

  79. Pedro

    Monty you dummy, the ABS says that the qld workforce is over 2.3mil. Only you wayne and kate would think that losing 14k public servants is a big hit to the economy. I do feel for the poor buggers though because the ALP has unapologetically made it harder for them to be reemployed.

    If you’re right about something I’ll stick up for you despite your ideology, but your like a reincarnation of homer spouting ALP nonsense.

  80. Fire and Ice

    its a revelation… we’ve actually been well off all along. It turns out that our nag compares well against the three-legged, sickly and runted competitors. We should all be thankful.

    Swanny you are an idiot.

  81. Aliice

    I think occupational licensing and this ridiculous new piece of legislation on continupus professional development has spurned an industry of spongers who are inventing training seminars to hold stop and go signs.
    The sheer cost of some of these continuous professional development sessions (take bookkeepers for example who dont earn that much and a single session run by the Tax Office can be around the $500 mark for a day).

    As far as I am concerned if the ATO wants better bas and tax agents they should be doing this training for free and at their expense.

    This is just an example – even brickies and carpenters etc licensing fees have gone up but they also have got to run off for training “sessions” in their own time and at their own cost.

    This is not damn productive. Its a cost impost by government on working people as as such it inhibits people from working and getting started.
    In reality the government just wants to get more money from people who work (accreditation fees from training organisations and licensing fees from people trying to work). Its a plain outright double dip and the government is actually inhibiting lower unemployment rates.
    But most givernment departments now are trying to profit from the people who have paid taxes to put them there for the purpose of giving some services back, not taking more money from those who gave them the job in the first place.

    “The more corrupt the state, the more numerous the laws.”
    ― Tacitus

  82. Excluding those who are physically incapable of working, ‘employment’ is 100%

    If ~94% are employed then; ~1% are ‘employing themselves’ from their own savings, the rest are compensated by the government for being priced out of work by the mandatory Trade Union labour floor price.

    But we need to separate out those currently ‘employed’ to administrate the Government’s regulatory impositions; the climate change regulators, public art administrators, ALPBC stenographers, etc.

    They’re not really ‘employed’ in any productive way and there are more than ~5% of them.

  83. Grey

    But we need to separate out those currently ‘employed’ to administrate the Government’s regulatory impositions; the climate change regulators, public art administrators, ALPBC stenographers, etc.

    Why stop there? Do you think if we cut the ASIO budget by 90% and laid off 90% of the employees paring it down to a bare essential monitoring service we would notice any difference what so ever?

  84. Is Queensland dragging down the rest of the country with public sector layoffs?

    Monty this is the most riduculous thing I have ever seen you say. Newman is doing so well that according to one thing I read we might have a $7 Billion deficit even after all the cuts. Do you actually think public servants are in a business that makes money or something? Our crappy credit rating left to us by a previous government is hard to budge but if we left it as business as usual it would have already dropped another notch or 2. Do you think the current federal government would be bailing us out in that case? It would mean a loss in their credit rating which will happen anyway if we have another term of the same people in my opinion.

    “sectors in the Australian economy which are impacted by the higher dollar, a cautious consumer and global volatility”.

    If we had the same government and everything was reversed then we could say. “Sectors in the Australian economy which are impacted by the low dollar, over exuberant consumer and lack of volatility in overseas markets” There will always be winners and losers but a stable and relatively low taxing government will always have the best possible outcomes.

  85. Poor Old Rafe

    “For example, a protectionist could just as easily point to the dismantling of the tariff wall as leading to a higher unemployment rate.”

    To which an economist could reply that each tariff protected job cost 2 or 3 jobs that could have been created in more productive industries.

    The figure of 5% across the board translates into much higher figures in some places and age groups. It does not take into account slippery definitions, under-employed, disability pensions and students wasting time in year 12 and ‘higher ed”.

    On the rise of unemployment in the 1970s, this graph extracted from Gerard Hendesons’s seminal paper on the Industrial Relations Club shows how unemployment tracked wage increases.

    http://www.the-rathouse.com/2010/Gerard_Henderson_on_wages_and_unemployment.gif

  86. NoFixedAddress

    labor are the original progenitors of the white australia policy.

  87. Steve of Glasshouse

    Monty..Good news .They’ve discovered your long lost clan on Mars. Simple life, lives under lottsa rocks..

  88. Rafe
    That graph does seem to prove the supply and demand theory on wages. One interesting thing though is that it goes haywire from about 1970 and what might this be due to?, the financial crisis at the time or welfare changes or tax or a combination of all. Look at the 1970 onwards Increases to sickness benefit and family allowances. Tax also jumped from 20% to 25% as a share of GDP in the same time frame, see chart 1

  89. Grey
    24 Jan 13 at 4:49 pm

    Why stop there? Do you think if we cut the ASIO budget by 90% and laid off 90% of the employees paring it down to a bare essential monitoring service we would notice any difference what so ever?

    Unlike the ALPBC, Opera Australia, Bernie Ecclestone and desalination plants; ASIO provides an essential public good keeping a close eye on violent socialist revolutionaries that would steal our liberties.

    It could not be compared to the waste of the poor’s taxes on retailing the lies of The New Communists by their ALPBC. It wasn’t that long ago you could get it for free from some bloke on a soap box in the corner of the local park.

    You can’t say that ASIO is heavy handed, when a self confessed Communist, recently in the pay of International Socialism, dedicated to the violent overthrow of the country’s consitution, can be elected to the nation’s house of review. The same evil ideology directly responsible for the cold blooded murder of 100 million people last century.

    We libertarians are perfectly happy for socialists to play amongst themselves as long as they leave everyone else alone and especially keep their hands out of our pockets.

  90. ASIO provides an essential public good keeping a close eye on violent socialist revolutionaries that would steal our liberties.

    Spoken like a proper Authoritarian, to paraphrase “ASIO takes away the Liberty of those I consider a threat by spying on some Australian citizens even taking away the assumption of innocence and considering them violent before an act is committed”

  91. Jarrah

    “recently in the pay of International Socialism”

    I didn’t realise they had any money.

  92. Jarrah

    “m0nty, you have become a parody of yourself.”

    Hey, no stealing my put-downs.

  93. Aliice

    Kelly
    The reason it goes haywire is because after the mid 1970s there was a systematic movement towards the destruction of people’s rights and work (easy to hire easy to fire dismantling of unions erosion of preotection exposure to overseas competition for the first time the destruction of Australia’s domestic manufacturing industry the decline in short of the blue collar worker who had some base protections and nothing for the younger generation who doesnt have the brains to attend uni, to go on with. After that (the dawning of the new “we are government and we couldnt give a rats and if anything goes wrong we will blame it on “the market”), they were all out on the street.

    Systematically higher unemployment ever since mid 1970sn (thats when the structirak break happened – about the same time Milton Friedman was training Greenspan) and the government tells us we have to get used to it because NAIRU is higher (Nairus a god statue in a temple who doesnt mean jack).

    Its the government and the central bank’s responsibility to ensure people are not going broke in this country and that full employment is attained (not at their version of NAIRU either).

    Neither of them are doing a good job and have not been since that structural break.

    Further unemployment is masked and is a TB (total BS) number when taking into account people who want more work than a shift a day in Best and Less (like a 23 year old I know at uni). the only reason the poor student gets only one day a week is because they are replacing him now, after a few years work for them, with cheaper brand new school leavers.

    Is this any way to treat loyal people and workers? No. Greed and really skunging out by companies has gone totally mad (so mad is distasteful).

    The young are getting really run over…in this country… and Julia’s and everyone’s solution is to jack up hecs.

  94. Jarrah

    Actually, I take that back. Turns out plenty of people used it before I did. Sorry.

  95. Jc

    Kelly

    ASIO was instrumental in going after a group of muzzo crazies that wanted to bomb a crowded MCG and also went after the ‘vironmentals who destroyed experimental GM crops.

    Would you like to disband it then? How is what they did altogether different that policing as cops also spy on our citizens too.

    I would like to see ASIO’s powers reduced in that I would like the Federal judiciary to oversee/approve their investigations unlike now, but done away with… no thanks.

    You need to get back into the cab.

  96. Aliice

    Poor old Rafe says

    ““For example, a protectionist could just as easily point to the dismantling of the tariff wall as leading to a higher unemployment rate.”

    To which an economist could reply that each tariff protected job cost 2 or 3 jobs that could have been created in more productive industries.

    yes they all said that. Econimists said when people were sacked from unproductive industries that were alive because of a triff wall…that thes people would seamlessy flow to “more productive industries”
    yeah right – people dont live moving and it involves heavy retraining or they cant afford to move or they were never entrepreneurial and all the new interesting businesses the sacked would start – never eventuated

    some of us are living in a foold paradise that is destroying the jobs and livelihoods of others. At this point there is nothing wrong with pretectionism. Enough is enough. I tell you I am voting for Katter if the libs dont clean up on this nonsense.

  97. ASIO was instrumental in going after a group of muzzo crazies that wanted to bomb a crowded MCG

    JC
    That was using the softley softley approach, something like those ads that run on tv for a while about if you see something suspicious report it. Of course want to keep ASIO but don’t want them spying on me too much.

  98. Rococo Liberal

    Alice

    You are talking emotive rubbish. What makes it worse is the large amount of typos. Yes life is hard for the poor factory fodder. It were ever thus and should remain so. A world made safe for factory fodder is a world that has no freedom, joy or high life, just an endless seam of pop culture and nanny state regulations.

  99. Infidel Tiger

    Aliice, until you can spell your own name how about you dictate to the nurse and she types your comments for you?

  100. Aliice

    Call nurse Ratchet then IT.

    Im ready to dicate.

    Look you bastards. If you were as old as I am and never learned to type (bar fast two fingers) you would get impatient too. Sinc doesnt have spell checker.

  101. Aliice

    Ok just noticed it. Its dictate above for those of the u and fr and ty and shorthand text gen who think I now suddenly need to spell properly when they shortened the whole english language into textglish.

  102. Aliice
    How about another factor the increase in real living standards? Like you talking to us now. I remember 20 years ago when I called my mum 100km away it cost $1 per minute now you can carry on to anyone for very little certainly not $1 per min. Maybe some here would like to bring you back to the good old days and make you pay the prices to keep the jobs.

  103. Jc

    Oh Okay Kelly

    I tend to agree that ASIO has far too much power. I think the best possible route is that ASIO should have all investigations reviewed by the Federal judiciary from wire tapping to most other crap they do.

    At present they’re are a law unto themselves, which I think is pretty bad. A sitting judge should okay most of the stuff they do.

  104. Jc

    Shut up Alice.

    Learn to type.

  105. Aliice

    Rococo
    The world doesnt have to be
    “made safe for factory fodder” you superior wanker but it does have to be made safe enough that unemployment doesnt have to double since the post war period on spurious NAIRU grounds.

    That is we dont want more good hard workers and employees becoming factory fodder do we (which is what we are doing to the younger generation every day in case you hadnt noticed)?

  106. Infidel Tiger

    I remember 20 years ago when I called my mum 100km away it cost $1 per minute now you can carry on to anyone for very little certainly not $1 per min.

    With viber, facetime and skype it doesn’t cost a cent.

  107. Aliice

    JC – learn to butt out. You asked me not to speak to you and now I dont.

  108. Aliice

    Kelly – dont laugh but the numnber of automatons I see on the bus or at stations or wandering about the city connected to a battery device via their ears and fingers makes me think its not a bad idea calls go up in price.

  109. Aliice you have indicated you are fairly long in the tooth. I have nothing against that but my father used to use the beer index. It was an index developed by himself as he liked a beer and he worked out how many hours or part hours he would have to work to buy a beer and that came down very significantly during his lifetime. Can you remember the price of a beer when you were 21 and how many hours of work you had to do and now it is only about 6 minutes for a can bought in a box based on the minumum wage.

  110. or wandering about the city connected to a battery device via their ears and fingers makes me think its not a bad idea calls go up in price.

    LOL Aliice I will pay that one as I do not carry a mobile device (other than equipment in my taxi to give me work or when overseas) and when a passenger asks if I have a phone it often seems as if I have some very bad contagious disease or that I am a liar.

  111. Aliice

    Kelly I cant because i never liked beer so I never drank it and never measured in beer units.
    Im not obsessed by price either.

  112. Jc

    JC – learn to butt out. You asked me not to speak to you and now I dont.

    Shut up Alice. I’ll “talk” whenever I like.

    When did I say not to speak to me. That seems either like a lie or you were too drunk to cohere what was being said.

  113. Aliice

    OMG Kelly – do you mean people ask taxi drivers for phones? Its worse than I thought.
    To do what? text or email on your bill while they ride?

  114. Jc

    Im not obsessed by price either.

    I’m sure. Alice goes for the quality hard stuff that grows hairs on your chest.

  115. Leigh Lowe

    Shut up Alice.
    Learn to type.

    JC … let me complete that phrase.

    Shut up Alice.
    Learn to type …… your banal thoughts in less than 500 words per serving.

  116. To do what? text or email on your bill while they ride?

    Very occassionally but usually so they can call me to pick them up next time. The ones that are most insistant are the ones that are annoying passengers already.

  117. Aliice

    JC shut up. Im not talking to you because you keep inventing this drunken persona that has nothing to do with me…
    I dont have to live as a figment of your imagination old man.

    I am sure I will speak to you tomorrow but now Im going to bed. Im done. I did 44 laps this afternoon in the ocean pool (I am not what I used to be but I slowlier get there).

    I just realised I can see better if I sit closer to the puter.

  118. Aliice

    Oh OK Kelly
    My hubby does that if its a long ride and he offers the pick back up to the driver and takes the drivers number if the driver wants to give it to him only (ie if interested).
    For that it might be useful.

  119. Aliice

    Leigh – you are a bitch and very rarely half decent. That makes you sort of interesting.

    Goodnight all.

  120. Aliice

    Kelly – goodnight. I know a bit about the taxi industry – you in Sydney? Talk later.

  121. Jc

    What’s with this good night bullshit, Alice. If you’re hitting the sack to sleep it off then go ahead. You don’t need to tell us.

    And by the way, judging by your response to me, you lied about me telling you not to talk to me. You need to apologize.

    Good night Kelly. Sleep tight.

    :-)

  122. John Mc

    I tend to agree that ASIO has far too much power. I think the best possible route is that ASIO should have all investigations reviewed by the Federal judiciary from wire tapping to most other crap they do.

    ASIO attempts to placate people they’re talking to by stating in their opening comments they “have no executive powers”. To which a smart person replies that executive power is too good for them, because at least you can be held to account for it in the public domain.

  123. Abu Chowdah

    Introduce judges to review that stuff and Australia will have advanced another 30% towards total irreversible soft cockery. We are already 70% there.

    Pat O’Shane, security expert. Mordy Bromberg, security expert.

    Think about it.

  124. John H.

    Again, it’s sheer bloody fantasy.

    Damn right, I think it was some Roy Morgan research early last year that claimed the rate was 11%, then a further 6% for under employment. The govt figures should not be trusted. I don’t know why anyone but a politician would reference the published rate.

  125. Tom

    Do you think if we cut the ASIO budget by 90% and laid off 90% of the employees paring it down to a bare essential monitoring service we would notice any difference what so ever?

    Our latest troll is a deadset mooching black hole of dumb stupid.

  126. John H.

    Do you think if we cut the ASIO budget by 90% and laid off 90% of the employees paring it down to a bare essential monitoring service we would notice any difference what so ever?

    Is that a plane diving towards the Opera House?

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