People are seen in long queues outside the Centrelink office in Southport on the Gold Coast, on Monday, March 23, 2020. (AAP Image/Dan Peled)

In forecasting a jobs boom over the next four years in response to its stimulus measures, the government isn't being unrealistic. It has achieved a jobs boom before. Problem is, it hasn't learnt the lessons of that boom.

The budget forecasts that the economy will recover 950,000 jobs over the next four years -- based, of course, on the crucial assumption of a widespread COVID-19 vaccine next year. There will be a further 100,000 positions for apprentices at a 50% subsidy while 400,000 people will be on the JobMaker wage subsidy.

That will get the unemployment rate back to around 5.5% by 2024, with the participation rate rapidly returning to just below its former (and historically high) level.