With unemployment steadily on the rise, it’s a fair bet we’ll hear a great deal in coming weeks about the employment impact of the Government’s reward scheme for Big Carbon, its “Carbon Pollution Reduction Scheme”.

A handy trick to check any claim about the jobs impact is to go to the ABS data on how many people are actually employed in an industry. This tends to put claims about the apocalyptic impact of any Government policy in context.

Case in point: two weeks ago, economic illiterate and climate sceptic Barnaby Joyce was claiming he’d been told by the Minerals Council that an ETS would cost 50,000 jobs in the Queensland mining industry. Given Mitch Hooke has replaced Don Voelte as the biggest sook in the country over climate change, it’s not impossible that this was an accurate version of what the Council had told Joyce.

A quick check of the ABS data shows that in November, 45,700 people were employed in mining in Queensland. So, the ETS would not merely wipe out all mining in Queensland, but somehow also affect another 4300 mining jobs that don’t even exist. Powerful stuff, this emissions trading.

That came from a bloke who has complained that people who wanted to address climate change were acting like religious fanatics.

It’s best to assume that anyone making a claim about the employment impact of an ETS is lying through their teeth — or at least exaggerating by a factor of ten. Reality check everything they say.