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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