Sep 4, 2014

Fair Work outperforms WorkChoices, leaves Treasurer strangely silent

The national accounts show labour productivity has surged. The numbers, however, have received very different interpretations, and there's been a strange silence on productivity, Bernard Keane and Glenn Dyer write.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

A “pleasing set of numbers” is what Treasurer Joe Hockey called yesterday’s national accounts, doing his best to put a gloss on an economy that significantly came off the pace in the final quarter of 2013-14. But oddly enough, the Treasurer in reciting many of the numbers we were given yesterday, neglected to mention the most pleasing number of all.

The best measure of private sector labour productivity, Gross Value Added per hour worked, grew 3.3% during the year in trend terms. GVA per hour worked has now grown 9.5% in the last three years, or around 0.8% a quarter, the strongest period of growth since 1997-99. Even taking out the very strong year of 2011-12, when GVA per hour worked grew 4%, it has grown on average 0.7% a quarter over the last two years.

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4 thoughts on “Fair Work outperforms WorkChoices, leaves Treasurer strangely silent

  1. Bob's Uncle

    Nice use of evidence and logic. Good mental preparation for the upcoming onslaught of dour, respectable commentators who sagely advise that the only way to save the workers is to destroy them.

  2. Daly

    Great analysis Bernard and Glenn. Thanks for the answers to the Anti News Corp positions!

  3. Patrick

    Bernard, prepare for your full house of facts to be trumped by Joe’s pair of ideologies – unions are always bad and working people need more pain inflicted on them to appreciate just how good they have it.

  4. MJPC

    Today the dogs of business are yapping that the solution to youth unemploymenewnt is to get rid of weekend penalty rates (read that would be a good idea for all workers, youth or not, casual or not).
    Then it will be the minimum wage, then it will be let them work for tips, then, they will have to pay us to have a job. Sorry, that’s already in with some internships.
    Time to man the barricades again…Work Choices Mk11 is on the march.

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