Jan 16, 2018

Who’s really to thank for our jobs boom?

The strong jobs growth under Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison is due to the government's health and education spending, and low interest rates, not a buoyant private sector.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

While jobs growth has been a success story for the Turnbull government over the last two years, a closer look at employment data suggests its economic policies deserve little credit. Instead, growth has been driven by social services spending and the Reserve Bank’s ultra-low interest rates.

According to ABS data, between November 2015 and November 2017, employment grew by nearly 520,000 in trend terms, or around 4.3% -- noticeably faster than growth under the Abbott government, which managed only 3.8% growth between November 2013 and November 2015 (Abbott and Joe Hockey were replaced in September 2015). The strong growth under Turnbull and his Treasurer Scott Morrison has driven unemployment down to 5.4% (again in trend terms; all figures here are trend), its lowest level since early 2013.

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12 thoughts on “Who’s really to thank for our jobs boom?

  1. old greybearded one

    I am not sure how we trumpet jobs growth with a job defined as an hour. Crikey often points out the hours worked per person per month as being very low. I no longer trust the ABS other than on trends.

  2. shea mcduff

    “The strong jobs growth under Malcolm Turnbull and Scott Morrison ….”
    As of November 2017:
    *Official unemployment rate is virtually identical to that of 2013
    *Underemployment is the highest its been for 30 plus years
    *Un and under employment combined higher than in 2013.

  3. Desmond Graham

    actually with nation liquiditating Programs like the NDIS [thought bubble of Gillard to gain electoral traction] unemployment will statistically fall. Where disabled applicant is awarded funds to send them, carer, family on interstate holidays [travel,accomodation,entrance fees to venues] all paid out of the public purse naturally unemployment statistics will look rosey. Health administrators [not front line clinical personnel] are burgeoning . Tick and flick jobs working for accreditation agencies, health and safety companies, pseudo education courses in telephone answering etc are booming . Must not forget certificate 4 courses in courses in cleaning [includes sweeping & mopping]. These are driving the statistics

    If statistics are valid analysed employment is falling in the real productive segments of society – every day stores are closing , manufacturers are calling in administrators.

    If you look at next article in to-day’s Crickey a town in California seems to have created more real jobs than any State or Commonwealth Government in Australia.

    1. bushby jane

      I don’t have a cynical view of NDIS as I view it as a necessary addition to social support, but I believe that it is a big contributor to health job increases. This govt seems to be withholding or delaying funding for this indicative, so cannot be congratulated for this particular job growth to my mind, only being done under duress.

      1. Desmond Graham

        Probably the realisation is dawning that the country cannot afford it. We seem to be wanting to build Rolls-Royce type social support systems with a productivity that can only support motor bikes . The awful realisation is only now beginning to dawn generally on the politicians advisers and the there is no way of extricating the country without hurting the people whose hopes have been raised – Look at Gonski, NBN, NDIS and the list goes on.

        1. drsmithy

          We cannot afford it ? What do we lack ? Workers ? Facilities ? Equipment ?

  4. klewso

    What we need is more tax cuts (less gov; revenue) – that’ll make more jobs ….. won’t it?
    You just have to believe in BCA economics and their Limited News Party puppets – and forget about all other evidence? …. That and that Liberal is the god of good news : while Labor is the god of torment (ref. The Book of Murdoch) …. now bring the goat Tosser.

    1. Desmond Graham

      generally low taxed nations leave more circulating money for their citizens to spend creating new ventures -and more productive use of the money .
      The evidence – are Hong Kong , Singapore, Switzerland basket economic societies??

      1. drsmithy

        The evidence – are Hong Kong , Singapore, Switzerland basket economic societies??

        So you’re saying Norway, Sweden, Germany, Post-WW2 USA (before the neoliberals took over), these are/were “basket economic societies” ?

        Money circulates when people have high disposable incomes and a propensity to spend. This comes from a relatively wealthy low- and middle-classes.

        Money and wealth bubble up, they do not trickle down. That is why we have progressive tax systems. Want to use tax reform to put more money in the places it needs to be ? Raise the tax-free threshold.

      2. AR

        …wow. Just, WOW!
        Nobody believes this paleocon B/S so we must assume that you are being disingenuous if dumb or utterly mendacious.

      3. klewso

        Our size and population/density in comparison – fend-for-yourself tax cuts are going to provide the services and infrastructure we need?

  5. Dog's Breakfast

    The education spend is largely just governments reacting to a mini baby boom in the country over the preceding decade. Guess what, those babies become little kids that need to go to school.

    I can’t agree that we can’t afford the NDIS. What we can’t afford is tax cuts to very high wealth individuals and big corporates. We will get nothing back from those tax cuts, that money just ends up in Cayman Islands accounts.

    The NDIS work being created was largely formerly done for nothing by carers whose work wasn’t paid and therefore not counted. They need the break, and many will go and work somewhere with the relief they get from their burden, and in the process pay some taxes.

    We can’t afford not to have the NDIS.

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