Point one of a per cent. The number landed with a thud at 11.30 this morning and sent Coalition media advisers scurrying for adjectives to describe the government’s economic failures.

The jump in the nation’s unemployment rate to 5.2% is not good news. That’s 27,000 fewer people in full-time work, wiping out the gains from May.

But there’s other figures worth considering. Like the unemployment rates in other nations:

  • Germany: 5.6%
  • New Zealand: 6.7%
  • Canada: 7.2%
  • Sweden: 7.8%
  • United Kingdom: 8.1%
  • United States: 8.2%
  • France: 10.1%
  • Portugal: 15.2%
  • Greece: 21.9%
  • Spain: 24.6%
  • South Africa: 25.2%
Let us debate the health of our economy. But let’s do it with some perspective.

Peter Fray

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