In case anyone is unsure about the Coalition’s message, they are about “jobs, growth, and community safety…jobs, growth and community safety.”
Pull out the string and that is what you will hear from every one of them.
Oh, and “the Cabinet is doing exceptionally well” even if we do say so ourselves. Ok, even if we were just told to say that by Peta.
But every time they try to elaborate, we are subjected to a load of “trust me” that bears very little resemblance to truth.
Take Question Time today.
Every opportunity he got Joe Hockey repeated the figures that the Coalition created 38,000 jobs last month and 334,000 jobs since coming to office. He then went on to compare average monthly job creation with the previous government saying he was creating eleventy times more than they were.
A quick look at the Labour Force Survey for July 2015 shows that Joe is using the SEASONALLY ADJUSTED ESTIMATES (MONTHLY CHANGE) which states that “Employment increased 38,500 to 11,810,700.”
So Joe was correct about job creation for July but the same source shows he is wildly wrong about his other figures.
Between November 2007 and September 2013, employment increased from 10,583,200 to 11,645,800 – an increase of 1,062,600 in 70 months at an average of 15,180 per month. Remember this covered the period of the global financial crisis.
Between September 2013 and July 2015, employment increased from 11,645,800 to 11,810,700 – an increase of 164,900 in 22 months at an average of ….hang on….7,495 per month.
Under this government, full time jobs have increased from 8,133,700 to 8,170,400 – an increase of 36,700. Part time jobs have increased from 3,512,100 to 3,640,300 – an increase of 128,200, showing part time employment increasing at three and a half times the rate of full time jobs
Surprisingly, even with all these extra people employed, aggregate monthly hours worked decreased from 1,641.5 million hours in September 2013 to 1,633.2 million hours in July 2015.
A spokesman from Hockey’s office told me they use the ABS figures and the ANZ job ad survey. Using the job ad survey is obviously spurious as it does not differentiate between new positions and vacancies in existing positions, presumably because someone has taken another advertised job. Joe appears to be claiming his policies are responsible for every advertised job and is claiming credit for creating them, new or not, despite the different story shown by the ABS labour force figures he chooses to quote at other times.
And then we had Tony berating environmental groups for standing in the way of the “10,000 jobs that will be created directly by the Carmichael coal mine”, even though evidence from an economist commissioned by Adani itself – Jerome Fahrer of ACIL Allen – given in the land court earlier this year said: “Over the life of the project it is projected that on average around 1,464 employee years of full-time equivalent direct and indirect jobs will be created.”
Adani claims they are the jobs for the mine and about 70km of the 388km railway. An Adani spokesman said the higher figure included contributions from the mine, the Abbot Point coal terminal near Bowen, and the 310 kilometre rail line connecting the two.
Queensland Resources Council chief executive Michael Roche previously said the rail line alone could provide 2400 new jobs. Considering the source we can count on that figure also being highly exaggerated.
Even if Adani’s interpretation was correct, it meant the port and railway line would have to create “8500 or so plus jobs” for the 10,000 jobs figure to stack up. And as they cannot find a financial backer, the whole argument is moot.
A 2013 report by Deloitte’s found that the total Australia-wide value-added economic contribution generated in the Reef catchment in 2012 was $5.7 billion with employment (as measured in full-time equivalent workers) of just below 69,000. Why would you risk this unique asset?
Lenore Taylor points out the absurdity and inconsistency of the Abbott government’s approach when it comes to wind farms and jobs in renewable energy.
“When an environment group successfully uses 16 year-old national environmental laws to delay a project, the Abbott government tries to change the law to prevent them from ever doing it again.
But if an anti-windfarm group can’t find a way to use existing laws and regulations to stop or delay a project, the Abbott government tries to change laws and processes to make it easier for them to succeed.
The first is called green “vigilantism” and “sabotage” and the second is, according to environment minister Greg Hunt, a reasonable response because “many people have a sense of deep anxiety, and they have a right to complain.”
The government calls regulations that stop fossil fuel or mining projects “green tape”, but a wind commissioner and yet another scientific committee to look at unsubstantiated health complaints regarding wind turbines is apparently no kind of “tape” at all.
Question time also contained an attack on Labor for being xenophobes for questioning labour arrangements in the Chinese Free Trade Agreement. We’re all for jobs but 457 visas are an integral part of creating those jobs….apparently.
All in all I would say the first part of our new three pronged aspiration, jobs, is not doing quite as well as Hockey and Abbott would have us believe.