Aug 21, 2017

How jobs data gets twisted to tell falsehoods

The government is claiming unemployment is down and jobs are up. But their numbers were fudged by a little bit of economic trickery, with the ABC apparently willing to parrot these misleading figures.

Alan Austin — Freelance journalist

Alan Austin

Freelance journalist

A prominent ABC News report late last week contained several messages which the Turnbull Government wants voters to believe are true. They aren’t. Apparently hoping to boost the Coalition’s tawdry record on jobs, it opened with:

“Australia’s unemployment rate has fallen to 5.6% with the creation of nearly 28,000 jobs in July.”

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9 thoughts on “How jobs data gets twisted to tell falsehoods

  1. Paul

    Re the last para.
    Why, today, does anyone expect better from the ABC? Their reputation has been lowered almost yearly from the election of Howard. Their reporting of Rudd and Gillard was anything but impartial and the sycophantic treatment of Abbott as Opposition Leader was stomach turning. Their love for Turnbull is obvious.

    Unlike the rabid right (One Nation and L/NP claims of bias) I don’t assert they never criticize Turnbull, but the treatment of his policies and political machinations are almost always kinder than the way they treat Shorten.

    1. alan austin

      Thanks, Paul.
      Yes, we should expect neutrality. Unfortunately, we don’t.
      Compromised independence has been evident since 2004 after John Howard appointed several political operatives to the ABC board, and to the supposedly independent board nomination panel. These included Janet Albrechtsen, Ron Brunton, Keith Windschuttle and former deputy Liberal leader Neil Brown.
      Agree entirely re Abbott. What is the news value of this “story”?

  2. shea mcduff

    Yep, as Itsarort asked Bernard and Glen on the previous thread, with its cute headline, on this topic:
    “So, why did the hours worked drop by 0.8 hrs?”
    To put the absolute number on the decrease in hours worked – aggregate monthly hours worked decreased 14.4 million hours in July.
    Employment decreased.

  3. CML

    Thank you for the facts, Alan…more ‘fake news’ from the usual suspects!
    The ABC should be ashamed of itself. So much for it’s ‘left wing’ bias!!

  4. Charlie Chaplin

    Please put this on the Facebook page so I can share it with those on the wrong side of the paywall, Crikey.

    Thanks Alan.

  5. Duncan Gilbey

    Good article.
    Take out the 1-1.5% increase due to immigration and the “Jobs and Growth” figures are dreadful.
    Rome is burning.

  6. klewso

    The results of the pursuit of continued myopic and flawed economic policies for 15 of the last 21 years under this government – under Howard (Turnbull, Abbott et al) then Abbott and Turnbull – hoping one day it will turn out different ….. (what did Einstein say about that?)
    This sort of news is too embarrassing for this government and it’s media groupies and hookers to be broadcast more widely – it might have a negative affect on it’s re-election prospects at the next.
    While the ABC seems obsessed with buoying this Limited News Party rather than hold it to account and open deserved critique – too terrorised to question it’s conservative political masters for fear of being rebuked, by it and it’s Murdoch’s Limited News bovver-boy bobby-soxers on the demonstrably tenuously thin ice they do :- “ABC left bias” my arse.
    And having a Murdoch Muppet tranplanted to it’s head certainly wasn’t meant to do it’s long term prognosis any good.

    1. klewso

      FFS what sort of credibilty does Sinodinos have after forgetting everything he did before ICAC while he was the country’s “highest paid doorman(?)” at AWH, and as NSW Liberal Treasurer playing with Free Enterprise Foundation funds – yet there he was on Insiders yesterday with his “memory” back – without a dig at that “creative memory” of his by Cassidy stand-in Uhlmann – who on Thursday night wiped the years of stains in the Brandis bowl clean, to tell us all that his dressing down of Hanson (as if he had a lot of choice) would define him?
      What sort of politics/morals is the ABC standardising : while standing aghast at the slip in civic and political standards?

  7. AR

    It’s been “their ABC” for quite a while – imagine what it would be like if the current Bill is passed.
    According to PHONie it would “force the ABC to provide more rural & regional news”… as distinct from what?

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