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The Forum > Article Comments > Unemployment 101: Itís time to get REAL > Comments

Unemployment 101: Itís time to get REAL : Comments

By Jonathan J. Ariel, published 22/2/2012

Five per cent unemployment in never good news.

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A good article. Youth unemployment is at 17.2 per cent and climbing. Age discrimination (both young and old) is stalking recruitment companies. Working one daya week is not employment when one wants to work fulltime is a shocker.

Fulltime jobs are falling as the workforce, especially the service industry, goes casual and part time.

The real shocker is under employment. We have tens of thousands of people who want to work more but can't becuase there are no jobs, especially in the so called priority employment areas.
Posted by Cheryl, Wednesday, 22 February 2012 9:21:18 AM
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Currently there is 24,965 jobs available in AU.
ACT 565
NSW 9072
VIC 4922
QLD 5483
SA 1769
TAS 232
NT 445
WA 2477
As of 21.02.12
These are just the advertised jobs.
Posted by 579, Wednesday, 22 February 2012 10:51:52 AM
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I guess it depends on how you look at it. 'Twas ever thus with statistics, regardless of who is wielding them, and this article is... just another way of looking at it.

Is the number of people employed - 11.464 million, according to the ABS - more significant or less significant than the number of unemployed? After all, that is just over half the entire population, indicating that there is a substantial number of dual-income households.

Is that a good thing, or a bad thing? Surely, it depends on your point of view.

I know a lot of good folk who bemoan, constantly, that it is impossible to survive without a second income, so surely it would be a positive signal if the total number of people employed came down?

Not necessarily, I hear you cry.

Well, exactly.

The most reliable indicator of the badness of unemployment in Australia, I would have thought, is the number of people who rely upon the State, through unemployment benefit, for their weekly income. This is a drain on the taxpayer, and a painful budget item for the Treasurer to have to deal with.

The writer seems adept at shape-shifting too, changing his own definition of "unemployed" as it suits his argument. This is typical of the fancy footwork:

"...the official statistics hid a huge number of people who would actually like to be working"

Sure, that's a relevant number, possibly indicating a massive waste of valuable resources. But it could also cover people who "want to work", but live in an area that has no work available. I hear that a number of rapidly-growing companies in the West are actually flying people in from overseas to fill their vacancies - how are these measured, in the unemployment statistics?

And...

"...those who have long ago become disenchanted with the process of looking for a job as well as those only passively looking because they are growing frustrated with each passing day."

These are presumably classified as unemployed, so why identify them separately?

Statistics are fully manipulable, in whatever direction you wish to take them.
Posted by Pericles, Wednesday, 22 February 2012 10:54:04 AM
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So what else is new? It's been this way for many years.

All it takes to be employed is that you undertook at least 1 hours work in the previous week, and that doesn't even mean paid work.

For example, if you tell Centrelink that you helped the old lady next door weed her garden and it took at least an hour, you're classed as "employed".

The real social villain is Under-Employment.

During the "Howard Miracle Years" the workforce was so deeply casualised (second only to Spain globally) that it hid the real impact of so-called employer flexibility.

As I once read - an immigrant wrote home saying "come to Australia. There are plenty of jobs here. I have three myself!"
Posted by wobbles, Wednesday, 22 February 2012 3:08:06 PM
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Beneath the paranoid rhetoric this article makes some reasonable points. But as Pericles says, none of this is new. Indeed far from being co-conspirators in a plot to downplay unemployment, the ABS iproduces estimates of under employment, levels of attachment to the workforce etc.

Cheryl

Youth unemployment has always been higher than adult unemployment in Australia and most other countries, for good reasons. Young people are likely to be entering the workforce for the first time, and not all have jobs lined up before leaving school. They switch jobs more often than adults. Most (about 70%, in Australia) are in full-time education.

Of Australiaís average youth unemployment of 134,000 in 2011, almost half (64,000) were in full-time education looking for part-time jobs. Just 4.2% of all 15-19 year olds were looking for full-time work.

http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6202.0Jan%202012?OpenDocument

Cheryl and 579
According to the ANZ there was an average of 191,423 jobs a week advertised in Australia in January

http://www.media.anz.com/phoenix.zhtml?c=248677&p=irol-jobad&nyo=
Posted by Rhian, Wednesday, 22 February 2012 4:08:57 PM
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The job figures i had must be for a specific job.
The latest figures for feb; are 179,970 job vacancies as of 16.02.12
Posted by 579, Wednesday, 22 February 2012 4:35:51 PM
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