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The Coalition’s plan for jobs isn’t working

Despite Scott Morrison’s crowing about record breaking growth, the March quarter figures show the Coalition’s economic plan just isn’t working – profits and growth do not result in jobs and higher wages.

In the year ending March 2017, company gross operating profits rose by almost 40% while wages rose less than 1%.

In several industries, wages went backwards this quarter despite increased profits.

Mining: The trend estimate for company gross operating profits rose 18.3% while the trend estimate for wages and salaries fell 1.6% this quarter.

Manufacturing: The trend estimate for company gross operating profits rose 3.0% while the trend estimate for wages and salaries fell 0.9% this quarter.

Construction: The trend estimate for company gross operating profits rose 8.3% while the trend estimate for wages and salaries fell 0.7% this quarter.

Financial and Insurance services: The trend estimate for company gross operating profits rose 15.0% while the trend estimate for wages and salaries fell 2.0% this quarter.

Over the past year (to April 2017), trend employment increased by 152,100 persons – 49,300 full time jobs and 102,800 part-time – but the labour force (total number of employed and unemployed) increased by 172,400 persons. The total Civilian Population aged 15 years and over increased by 310,300.

The part-time share of employment in the past 12 months increased from 31.5 per cent to 31.9 per cent, and remains close to the historical high of 32.0 per cent in November 2016.

Despite employment increasing by 19,900 persons in April 2017, the monthly hours worked decreased by 2 million hours and the number of unemployed rose by 1,700. This was the seventh consecutive increase since September 2016, reflecting an increase of 26,400 unemployed persons.

The unemployment rate for 15-24 year olds remained unchanged at 13.0 per cent in April 2017, having increased 0.6 percentage points over the year.

Turnbull and Morrison have tried to sell the Jobs and Growth mantra, as Abbott did more clumsily before them.

We got rid of the carbon tax but power costs continue to rise and manufacturing to decline.

We got rid of the mining tax – profits are up but employment and investment are down.

We signed free trade agreements but exports of goods and services fell 1.6% last quarter.

Companies are making record profits but wages are going backwards and employment is not keeping up with population increase.

We have had continuous growth for over a quarter of a century but, increasingly, the benefits have gone to a very small percentage of society.

So what’s the plan?

Forego another $60 billion by taking an even smaller share of the profits from big business, cut government spending (except on things that can launch bombs and shoot bullets), and keep selling off our profitable government businesses and assets.

That should work a treat.


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  1. silkworm

    “We got rid of the carbon tax…”

    There never was a carbon tax, as Peta Credlin confessed. You know this, yet you repeat their rubbish.

  2. economicreform

    If the private sector cannot, or will not, provide sufficient remunerated work for those who desire it, then the federal government should fill the breach. An employment deficit can be rectified by means of a government guaranteed job scheme. And there is no shortage of desirable or necessary work to be done within our society. It is also important to ensure that such employment is meaningful and satisfying, as well as being socially or environmentally useful. I probably do not need to point out that full employment ensures that there will be a sufficient level of aggregate demand and a healthily operating economy.

  3. Hettie Lynch

    Every time, every where that goverments have sought to deal with recession, the Great Depression, by commissioning great public works and thus both employing the unemployed and building productive infrastructure for the nation, the results have been a dramatic return to economic growth.
    In the US, cities and states (California, Minnesota, Seattle and others) that have raised the minimum wage have seen a surge in economic growth.
    Australia put cash into the pockets of the needy fast, just before Christmas of 2008, to provide stimulus until its rapid employment programs could be launched, and we, alone in the developed world, weathered the GFC with barely a twitch.
    And everywhere that austerity is used to claw back government speending, growth plummets, poverty and ill health soar.
    How much evidence does it take to establish that economies like plants grow from the roots. Provide for the poor, ensure a decent basic income, and everyone flourishes. Starve the poor and everyone except the uber rich suffers.
    But still they persist in the utter madness of economic “rationalism.”
    If ever a policy was misnamed it’s that one.
    If ever there was a great big lie, it is that the Coalition is better at economic management than the ALP.
    The next biggest lie is that privatising government built infrastructure and assets improves efficiency and drives costs down. Hell yeah. When shareholders must be paid as well as operating costs, of course costs go down. Not.
    And selling of the farm is always a good plan. Not.
    Kick this mob out.

  4. Carol Taylor

    It seems that the Libs have attained their hearts’ desire and have high company profits and wages “under control”. We should see Jobson Groeth around any tick of the clock. Not working very well is it?

  5. Kronomex

    I seem to remember that the LNP (and Labor when they were in charge) crow whenever Jobson Growth gets up off his sick bed and claim, “Look what we did, WE got employment and growth up because of our policies.” Then whenever Jobson Growth gets sick again it’s, “Oh well, you know the job markets are soft and business is down.” Around and around it goes.

  6. Michael Taylor

    “We got rid of the carbon tax…”

    There never was a carbon tax, as Peta Credlin confessed. You know this, yet you repeat their rubbish.

    Silky, since when has it been a problem to quote what someone says? It doesn’t mean you agree with them.

    Of course it wasn’t a carbon tax. Kaye knows that. I know that. You know that. Just about everyone here knows that. But we haven’t heard the Libs brag they “got rid of the price on carbon”. Until they do, we’ll keep reporting what they’ve always said.

    I once wrote what John Howard once said: “Interest rates will always be lower under a Coalition government” (or words similar). We all know that interest rates started rising again shortly after he made that claim. By your reckoning we shouldn’t be quoting Howard’s lie again.

  7. babyjewels10

    Thank you Kaye Lee. I get more information from you than any other single person! And you put things clearly in perspective. I can’t see things ending well.

  8. Matters Not

    All sides of the political divide(s), in Australia and across the world, promise a rosy future with more high paid, more high skilled jobs like there once was in days of yore. Why we even have an international coal mining company promising more mining jobs while promising also to have an almost fully automated, high tech operation. These contradictions pass (virtually) without comment.

    Seems that no political party wants to really think about the future in spite of all the ‘theorists’ pointing out that the past isn’t coming back. That the technological revolution is accelerating exponentially. Both Jones and Ellul wrote urging that the Sleeper Wake but – no we slumber on

  9. Kaye Lee

    I do agree that it was a huge failure of the Labor party to not control the messaging on the carbon price but, as Michael pointed out, I am quoting Coalition policies that were supposed to provide jobs.

    I should have included how getting rid of the requirement to justify business usage of leased cars was supposed to save the car industry.

  10. stephentardrew

    Good one Kaye very informative.

  11. win jeavons

    Where in our current political body is anyone confronting the looming job losses due to use of algorithms and automation ? Meanwhile we allow this backward facing pretend government to deride and pillory those who cannot find jobs where they are not? We are storing up misery for our collective future , which must include a discussion on how much personal wealth is too much !


    silkie. are u saying the imposition of the levy etc on carbon emmissions by gillard gov was not a ‘tax’? why do u say this…because gillard said it wasnt? the legal definition of ‘tax’ seems to apply to the imposts applicable to gillards scheme. hence it was a tax.


    peta credlin proable doesnt know what the legal definition of a ‘tax’ is. the high court has made that definition and its the only on that matters as a tax is an instrument of law. just because gillard and credlin say it wasnt a tax doesnt mean it wasnt. they are putting forward positions from their own interests. just go and find the high courts definition of a tax…i am surprised no one has not done this. as it is conclusive…it was a tax

  14. Pete Petrass

    Following on from large energy price increases over the past few years we now find out in Canberra today electricity is about to increase by almost 19% and gas almost 18%. Those are the approved 1017-18 rates. All because of the Lieberals and their inability to formulate an energy plan for the future.

  15. Harquebus

    The clash between resource depletion and population growth will intensify. The government’s growth and jobs mantra was always destined to fail.

    Recent warnings about China’s economy reminded me of Keating’s Asian century. A fools dream from one of Australia’s biggest fools. Now we pay the price for decades of government foolishness.
    Expect more failures from governments everywhere.

    Physics trumps political and economic ideology every time.


  16. Phil

    Seems a widespread assumtion that the LNP is genuinely concerned about the big issues that confront us, and that the Coalition is working towards solutions in the nation’s best interests, albeit with very little success. In other words, the Coalition means well but is simply not very competent.

    I don’t accept that assumption. I see the Coalition as a very smart two faced political machine – oneface (the myth face) projects sincerity via a collusive media and the Coalition’s internal propaganda apparatus – the other face (the true face) projects only to the exclusive insiders including military/industrial, banking, finance, real estate, mining, certain mainstream media. The largely hidden but true face of the Coalition is the face of expanding political and policing power and massive wealth accumulation for the Coalition’s exclusive club members.

    Judged from this ‘true face’ perspective the Coalition is the most successful government in our short history of occupation of this ancient land mass. Everything is going to plan despite endless hiccups from some stunningly incompetent ministers.

  17. townsvilleblog

    Unemployment is running at 9.3% according to Roy Morgan Research with in excess of 2.2 million Australian ‘people’ either unemployed or underemployed.

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