Judith points out that Wayne Swan has broken another promise – this time on employment.
In the 2011 budget, he told us that an additional half a million jobs would be created by the middle of this year and the rate of unemployment would then stand at 4 1/2 per cent.
But with the investment pipeline ramping up and unemployment falling, the boom will test our economy and our workforce, and price pressures will re‑emerge.
At that time Swan was making a big thing about the unemployment rate having “a four in front of it” – but that was 4.9 per cent and the lowest figure since December 2008 when unemployment was 4.6 per cent and the government so spooked they had brought on the first stimulus package. Since the 2011 budget the unemployment rate has risen and not fallen.
What would employment look like if Swan had been able to deliver on his employment forecast? So using the latest ABS seasonally adjusted data I extrapolated the employment figure from June 2011 out by 500,000 jobs and compared that to the actual numbers.
Let’s call the difference between the two the ‘Swan employment gap’.