Economy

Jan 22, 2018

The female workforce revolution is finally arriving

Unusually, the Turnbull government has presided over policies that have driven strong growth in female employment. We should get used to it.

Bernard Keane — Politics editor

Bernard Keane

Politics editor

Last week's employment data for December did not merely confirmed that 2017 was a great year for job creation -- something the government was understandably eager to celebrate -- but as savvy commentators like Michael Pascoe pointed out, was great news for female workers. Women took the bulk of 400,000 net jobs created in 2017, and the bulk of the full-time jobs too.

We won't know the composition of the new jobs created in December until we see the data for the February quarter in a couple of months, but as Crikey noted last week, health and education provided nearly half the new jobs over the twelve months to November -- workforces traditionally dominated by women. Health, education and social care all have workforces between 70-80% female.

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8 comments

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8 thoughts on “The female workforce revolution is finally arriving

  1. Joe Black

    Notwithstanding you don’t have the breakdown of the jobs data for December, what happened to the usual cynicism about the employment/unemployment stats? I’ve lost count of the number of Crikey articles explaining to us why the jobs data is a crock but now you are just naively taking the numbers at face value. This isn’t just a comment about Crikey – the mainstream press are the same. Nobody is poking these numbers at all; however, I expect Crikey to dig a little more deeply. At the very least, if these numbers are as unambiguously good as suggested, what (aside from the NDIS) is driving them?

  2. Justin Thyme

    >wasting billions protecting defence manufacturing
    If there will never be another war in the south Pacific then we can import everything from Asia – unless they have a war – or unless Asia finds better sources of food and minerals.

  3. AR

    Who knew BK hankered to be Pollyanna?

  4. shea mcduff

    The claim:
    “Last week’s employment data for December did not merely confirmed [sic] that 2017 was a great year for job creation – something the government was understandably eager to celebrate -….”
    The reality:
    From ABS December 2017 Seasonally adjusted estimates
    *”Unemployment rate increased 0.1 pts to 5.5%”
    *”Monthly hours worked in all jobs decreased 4.2 million hours (0.2%)”

  5. Sleuth

    “There’s some extra bragging rights for the Turnbull government in all this beyond a stellar year of job creation”. Said Bernard Keane.
    But unemployment went UP. A quick look on wikipedia shows 62 countries with lower unemployment than Australia, including the likes of Bangladesh, Laos, Cuba, India, China,
    Papua New Guinea, New Zealand and not mention the powerhouse countries, Germany – 3.7%, Japan – 3.00%, South Korea – 4.9 %, U.K. – 4.3%, U.S – 4.4%, even the Cayman Islands had a lower unemployment rate. A lot of these countries were hit very hard with the GFC, but have managed to surge way ahead of us without our natural resources.
    Not really that much to crow about.

    1. Peter Hannigan

      Please do not take unemployment statistics from many of the mentioned countries seriously either. Such stats are very political and well manipulated when necessary. For example unemployment statistics need to be considered in conjunction with the numbers on other sorts of benefits – such as disability.

      The other issue in developing countries is excluding the informal economy – meaning the stats only apply to those seen as in the formal economy – usually the more educated and perhaps more affluent. It is also seen as too hard to do proper surveys among the poor.

    2. old greybearded one

      Germany. High wages, unionised, high taxes by our standard. Absorbed a million refugees, better nobs figures.

  6. old greybearded one

    This would appear to mean the growth has been in government funded jobs, or government subsidised job in that private education is heavily subsidised and the completely crooked private TAFE system likewise.

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