Part-time employment up. Flexibility matters.

Bill Shorten was on Radio 2GB to tell us how well we are doing by world standards – we rank 5th or 6th in the developed world on employment.

The station finance reporter Ross Geenwood noted that the rise was in part-time employment, a clear signal that employers are wary of the traps and snares put in place by the Fair Work Act for people who are bold enough to take on fulltime workers.

But full-time employment decreased by 4200 jobs to 8,132,200, while part-time employment increased by 18,100 to 3,414,200.

The message is clear: its all about flexibility, stupid!

It’s all about productivity as well, I wonder what Bill and his Keynesian mates have got to say about that?

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11 Responses to Part-time employment up. Flexibility matters.

  1. tbh

    Yes it does and that’s why I worry about the ACTU’s jihad against “insecure work”. There was an interesting exchange between Innes Willox and Ged Kearney about it in the AFR this week. If the unions had their way our unemployment rate would be soaring right now. You only have to look at parts of the US and Europe to see that a flexible workforce is better in the aggregate than an inflexible one.

  2. stackja

    Work Choices has been demonised.

  3. Skuter

    Didn’t catch Ross Greenwood talking about this, but do we know the data source? I am always a bit suspicious when people talk about casual employment because there is typically a lot of confusion between part-time and causal employment. One can be permanent part-time or casual full-time. Also casuals’ hours can vary from week to week or be relatively stable over time. What determines whether employment is casual is the eligibility for entitlements like annual leave, sick leave, etc. not weekly working hours. Casual employment is only recorded in infrequent ABS surveys whereas part-time/full-time data is available from the monthly labour force survey

  4. Poor Old Rafe

    A good point, I took it as casual employment (whatever he said) because of the time of year. I had better qualify the original post although the message is still the same – flexibility and productivity are the keys.

    Callers were quickly on the line to remind us of all the indicators that are going south like the job ads, the cost of power, and confidence in the business community.

  5. blergh

    Your headline has no basis in fact.

    Part time work is not necessarily casual work.

    Full time work is not necessarily ‘permanent’ work.

    There is no way to know whether the net jobs growth reported in today’s Labour Force release for November represents an increase or a decrease in the proportion of the workforce that is employed on a casual arrangement.

    It’s possible that the net loss of full-time jobs was entirely comprised of ‘full time casual positions’ and that the net additional part time jobs all had paid leave benefits. It’s possible that the opposite is true. There is no way to say.

  6. Harold

    Germany’s unemployment rate was 6.9 percent in November.

    Which by historical standards is low…

    Unemployment for the [Euro] region as a whole is at a record high of 11.6 percent.
    By contrast, Germany’s jobless rate is still close to a two-decade low, helping to fuel household spending and temper the economic slowdown.

    From a worker’s perspective this is a better place to be than Germany?

  7. Oblique

    The real figures haven’t hit yet. For example, those looking for work from the 25,000+ public sector pool sacked by the Queensland government will not factor in those numbers. Because of redundancy payouts and contracts, most of these people are not “technically” unemployed, even though they might be looking for work. The reason they’re not counted is they can’t register as unemployed if they received a payout. This continues until the duration of the payout contract, some of them up to 3 years.

  8. Le Chiffre

    Another pile of garbage from the ABS.

    For comparison purposes the Employment figures should be viewed on a Full Time Equivalent employment basis:
    Full Time FTE jobs lost -4,200
    Part Time FTE jobs gained +6,950 ( 13,900/2 )
    Total gain +2,750 FTE jobs

    Population increase creates 200,000 new positions annually (work force of 11.5M with populatin growth at 1.7%). These new jobs are required to be created just to keep the unemployment rate steady. This gain of 3,000 odd FTE jobs in November represents a retardation of job creation of 14,000 positions in November. Not ‘surprisingly strong figures’.

    Comon sense indicates that November is characterised by the largest increase in the participation rate of the year as school leavers and uni grads enter the job market for FT and PT work. For the ABS to make a seasonal adjustment that actually lowers the participation rate in November is ridiculous, thus the adjustment alone is responsible for the entire non-existent decrease in the unemployment rate – it is entirely erroneous.
    Memo to Joe Hockey: fire the dumbass doing the seaonal adjustments at the ABS Labour Force team (remember they similarly screwed the figures in April with a supposed decrease in the rate to 4.9%).

    Real rate: the trend unemployment rate is 5.3% (the ABS gets this right) and without a change in the participation rate it would be 5.4%, with an accurate November increase in the participation rate it is 5.5% – just as economists expected.

  9. Le Chiffre

    BTW a month ago Shorten was crowing how 800,000 jobs had been created in Australia in the last five years under Labor. Well with 200,000 jobs created annually by population increase alone; that means his so-called government has been responsible for the elimination of 200,000 jobs. Isn’t there a commentator is Aust who can throw this back in his face?

  10. Elizabeth (Lizzie) B.

    Isn’t there a commentator is Aust who can throw this back in his face?

    Nope. Not in the MSM anyway.

    They’re all rowing in the same boat there.

  11. My workplace exists on flexibility. If the Fair Work Act allowed more flexibility, and if not for a few other provisions of it, I’d have 2 to 3 more people on the payroll.

    This isn’t including the 10 I got rid of via a restructure, in the lead up to the Act’s implementation, to reduce my exposure to the unfairness of the new unfair dismissal laws.

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