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The Forum > Article Comments > Investing in people is the path to full employment > Comments

Investing in people is the path to full employment : Comments

By Krystian Seibert, published 25/9/2007

One of the main explanations for Australiaís current low unemployment rate is the resources boom, not WorkChoices.

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It is my understanding that this claim of full employment is not because of people in jobs, but because the government has changed the way that unemployment is calculated.

For example if some works 20 hours a week they are classified as being fully employed.

Personally I think this claim of full employment is a furphy.
Posted by JamesH, Tuesday, 25 September 2007 9:01:45 AM
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As a corollary to the resources boom we could ask; what will people do when all that's left is a hole in the ground? Perhaps like Nauru we could run prison camps for other countries.
Posted by Taswegian, Tuesday, 25 September 2007 9:06:14 AM
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See Tomlinson (2005) Online author here http://www.onlineopinion.com.au/view.asp?article=3738

Tomlinson argues that \

"Governments and industry fail to create sufficient employment for all the available labour yet refuse to provide adequate alternative forms of income support. Many social security applicants are refused benefits either because they donít meet the totality of eligibility requirements or because they fail to comply with increasingly onerous obligations imposed on social security recipients"

A compelling arguement for a basic wage.

If there is no bottom line to indicate a sense of well being for all -there is no well being at all.
Posted by Rainier, Tuesday, 25 September 2007 9:26:02 AM
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James H you are correct that the employment figures are subject to "lies, damn lies and statistics".

see HRM http://www.hrmguide.net/australia/jobmarket/hidden_unemployment.htm

"Hidden unemployment

Updated March 10 2005 - Today's official unemployment figures continue to hide the real number of people who want to work in Australia, according to the Brotherhood of St Laurence.

"The current definition that 'one hour's work a week' equals employment produced today's official jobless rate of 5.1 per cent," Tony Nicholson, Executive Director of the Brotherhood said today.

- - -

UnitingCare Australia National Director, Lin Hatfield Dodds said Australian Government figures show 3.6 million Australians live on a household income of less than $400 a week but many of these people are not counted in jobless figures.

"These people find themselves in low paid, part time and casual jobs that don't provide enough money each week to cover the basics of food, utilities, medical bills and a roof over their heads," Ms Hatfield Dodds said."

- - - - - -

The HRM http://www.hrmguide.net/australia/jobmarket/employment.htm August 2007 employment figures are

Seasonally adjusted, the number of people in employment rose by 31,900 to 10,513,300.
Full-time employment rose by 29,100 to 7,541,900.
Part-time employment rose by by 2,700 to 2,971,400.

The seasonally adjusted total of unemployed rose by 3,600 to 472,000.
The number of people looking for full-time work fell by 6,900 to 317,100.
Number of people looking for part-time work rose by 10,600 to 155,000.

PARTICIPATION RATE Remained at 65.0%

I am concerned at the large numbers of young people participating in tertiary training of dubious relevance to work force requirements. They are working casually in the hospitality, retail or marketin areas earning crummy money to pay for education that will not lead to graduate work in their chosen field.
Posted by billie, Tuesday, 25 September 2007 9:52:35 AM
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I am being lazy by not looking up who, but I recall that there were prominent right wing economists in the UK and elsewhere who agreed with the Scandinavian interventionist model as being a more efficient use of resources. The evidence over time is that those economies have both low unemployment compared to Australia and comparable GDP employment costs overall.

I note that the Chief Economist at the MacQuarie Bank has bagged the employer group analysis as being of Workchoices as being inaccurate and that the IR changes have had negligible measurable impact on employment.
Posted by westernred, Tuesday, 25 September 2007 2:07:01 PM
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I doubt very much any major party has an objective of Full Employment. The trouble with Full Employment, from their perspective and business perspective, is that a labor market which is not heavily oversupplied has a lot of spare capacity. That spare capacity has an effect of driving down average and minimum wage rates, as its difficult to bargain for a decent paycheck in a semi or unskilled job when there are thousands out there desperate to step into your shoes.

See: Non-Accelerating Inflation Rate of Unemployment. At a short speech presented by economist Bruce Chapman, he said that at an unemployment rate lower than NAIRU, there are inflationary pressures in the economy and wages are anticipated to rise at a rate above CPI.
Posted by Inner-Sydney based transsexual, indigent outcast progeny of merchant family, Tuesday, 25 September 2007 2:19:03 PM
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