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Turnbull’s ‘Fake’ Jobs

By Michael Griffin ©

Despite the 403,000 ‘new jobs’ that Turnbull and his employment minister, Michaelia Cash, claim to have created over 2017, over that same period the unemployment rate fell by only 0.1% from 5.6% to 5.5%. On the face of it, that seems an odd phenomenon.

The 403,000 jobs Turnbull claims to have created during the course of 2017 is approximately 50% of the number of unemployed. On that basis, any ordinary person would be forgiven for expecting that such a huge number of ‘new jobs’ would put a very significant dent in the unemployment numbers.

No doubt, that same ordinary person would be equally surprised to find that it hadn’t. It stands to reason that if all the jobs Turnbull claims to have created had gone to an unemployed Australian, then the unemployment rate, and the public costs of Newstart, and of the homelessness that results from unemployment, would have been at least halved.

So what is really happening here?

As indicated by an article by Tim Colebatch in Inside Story on 20 April 2018, the reason the jobs growth touted by Turnbull had no impact on the jobless figures for the corresponding period is because nearly 73% of the so-called ‘new jobs’ Turnbull claims to have created went to new migrants.

As Colebatch’s linked article indicates, hidden within a recently released joint report of the Treasury and Department of Home Affairs Offices entitled ‘Shaping the Nation (2018)’, which the title itself implies the deliberate adoption of a strategic policy of social engineering akin to that suggested by the Club of Rome and by neo-liberal globalists, that would alarm many conspiracy theorists and nationalists, and which report seems to have been conveniently ‘missed’ by the  great Australian professional media, is this:

“Recent migrants accounted for two thirds (64.5%) of the approximately 850,000 net jobs created in the past five years. For full-time employment, the impact is even more pronounced, with recent migrants accounting for 72.4 percent of new jobs created.”

Hence, not much more than one-quarter of all the jobs Turnbull claims to have created have gone to Australian citizens, in particular, to the unemployed. The remaining nearly three-quarters of jobs created have gone to migrants on a working visa of some sort.

The fact that the jobs created have largely been taken by migrants partly explains why the official unemployment rate dropped by only 0.1% during the same period that Turnbull and Cash claim the increased job numbers occurred.

This discrepancy occurs because the migrants taking the jobs would not have been receiving Newstart before they took up their new job in Australia and, hence, would not have been included in the unemployment figures before or after they started working.

Put simply, they would not have been registered as unemployed before they got their new Australian job because they would not have been in Australia when the jobless figures were tallied. Consequently, when they arrive in Australia and start their new job, their employment is not deducted against the jobless figure.

Amongst other things, these facts indicate that Turnbull and his LNP government cannot legitimately use jobs growth numbers to justify their continuing persecution of the unemployed. Indeed, the facts probably support the opposite. That is, that the LNP’s ongoing persecution of the unemployed is unreasonable because it is government policy, in permitting so many work visa migrants into Australia, that has caused, and is still causing, the plight of the unemployed in Australia.

In other words, the government is to blame for unemployment NOT the individual unemployed person who is, in reality, a victim of the LNP’s anti-Australian, pro-immigrant ‘(re)shaping the nation’ policy.

But there is another factor relevant to why the official long-term unemployment rate was barely impacted upon by the ‘new jobs’ Turnbull and Cash claim to have created and which factor is not so evident from the Shaping the Nation report and that Tim Colebatch does not mention.

Reviewing the Australian Bureau of Statistics (‘ABS’) Labour statistics pages, upon which Turnbull and Cash rely to make their jobs growth claims, then we learn that the ABS does not measure ‘full-time jobs’ at all but measures only ‘working hours’.

The ABS defines a ‘job’, for the purpose of job creation statistics, to include any increased hour of work for those already employed. Hence, when a worker undertakes additional hours in the form of overtime, for instance, or when a casual or part-time employee works a few extra hours, then each of the additional hours worked is included as a new and separately created ‘job’ in the ABS statistics.

Hence, six additional hours of work by the same person undertaking the tasks they usually do in their usual job is counted as six brand new jobs. This is the case even if the same person is working for the same employer, in the same workplace and is undertaking the same tasks they do in their ordinary or usual work hours. The only difference is that the same person is working a few additional hours more than they did at the time the ABS measured working hours in the previous year.

The ABS relies upon international standards to measure ‘hours of work’ as separate jobs in the way it does. ‘Resolution I’ of The 18th International Conference of Labour Statisticians concerns the measurement of working time. It states the following:

  1. “Working time can be measured for short measurement units, such as minutes or hours, or for long units such as half-days, days, weeks or months. The measurement unit of “hours” is used for ease of reference.”

The ABS has chosen the ‘ease of reference approach’ by using an hour as the unit of measurement for the creation of a ‘job’. To that effect, the ABS reports that those interviewed in their job creation survey for 2017 responded that they were working on average 0.6% more hours than those interviewed for the corresponding survey at the same time in 2016.

The ABS then extrapolates the percentage of additional hours worked by those in its limited survey sample to the Australian workforce as a whole and it then calculates the total ‘new jobs’ created from the figure arrived at after the process of extrapolation to the entire workforce.

Hence, the ABS assumes that, like those employees in their limited survey, every worker in Australia has also worked 0.6% more hours than they did in the previous year and, in this instance, it arrives at the conclusion that 403,000 additional working hours, and, hence, 403,000 ‘new jobs’, have been created across the entire economy during that period.

In sum, what Turnbull’s 403,000 ‘new jobs’ really means is that 403,000 more hours have been worked than the last time a measurement was taken by the ABS. However, because each additional single hour worked is regarded as a ‘new job’, Turnbull and Cash are able to claim that the 403,000 additional hours worked is also 403,000 ‘new jobs’.

What has been created then by Turnbull is actually 403,000 additional hours of work, not 403,000 new full-time jobs as Turnbull would like us all to believe. In fact, if the additional 403,000 working hours is divided by the average weekly full-time hours of 37.5 hrs, then it calculates that for the period for which he and Cash boast of creating 403,000 ‘new jobs’, they have actually only created the equivalent of approximately 10,747 full-time jobs.

Applying the percentages disclosed in Shaping the Nation, then we can see that, of those 10,747 equivalent full-time jobs, about 73 %, or 8,060 equivalent full-time jobs, were worked by migrants on visa and the bulk of the rest of the equivalent full-time jobs by existing employees spread across the nation. All the additional 0.6% hours worked by existing employees across the nation provide the other working hours, which, when tallied together and then divided by 37.5 hrs, make up the remaining equivalent full-time jobs not worked by migrants on a visa.    

Significantly, neither of these groups – migrants or existing employees – were included in the previous jobless figures because they were either employed or not in Australia at all when the jobless figures were measured in 2016 or 2017. Because they were not previously included in the jobless figures, the additional working hours undertaken by migrants or by existing employees had no effective impact on the unemployment rate during the corresponding period and, consequently, that rate fell by only 0.1 %.

This also means that few unemployed people benefited from migrants getting an Australian job, or from existing workers undertaking additional work, during the period that the measurements were taken.

These figures also indicate that the cost of unemployment is not ameliorated when migrants on visa take an Australian job. If the 403,000 ‘jobs’ Turnbull claims to have been created had gone to an unemployed Australian, then approximately half the annual amount spent on Newstart, or about $5 billion per annum, would have been saved to be freed up for spending in other areas or for debt reduction.

Seems that Turnbull is committed to the use of rubbery figures and statistics to create a false picture of reality. By doing so he can conveniently use these rubbery statistics for the generation of his fake news on job creation, to justify his ongoing victimisation of the unemployed, for his ongoing deception of the Australian people about his government’s economic credentials and as a dubious reason for his implementation of discredited trickle-down neo-liberal economic policies and for his advocacy for the maintenance of a failing capitalist market system – a system that can provide neither sufficient jobs nor adequate housing for the citizens of the nation in which it operates.


41 comments

  1. Peter F

    Lies, Damned lies, and statistics.

  2. Sir Scotchmistery

    So no real surprise that Turdball et al are lying as usual.

  3. guest

    With regard to the claim about “one million jobs” Abbott said he would create, there is nothing remarkable about that. It is the amount of jobs already being achieved before his prediction. It is like Trump’s big claim about how the USA economy is thriving under his Presidency; the trend had started before his ascendancy.

    Jim Molan made a big point about the Coalition’s jobs claims last night on Q&A and finished the night saying the Coalition is “delivering and delivering and delivering” – yes, delivering one big muddle.

  4. Jack

    I feel the LNP have missed a trick here. They could have spun this about creating jobs for migrants and increasing the diversity of Australia, multiculturalism, insert buzz word here, etc… They really haven’t spruiked this at all.
    A social engineering policy is clearly a grab for wavering ALP voters drifting too close to centre. Abbot wouldn’t have ticked off on this

  5. Peter F

    Never mind if the Coalition has missed a trick, Murdoch will pull something out of the hat.

  6. Kronomex

    Guest, with Molan being ex-military you would have been better using “yes, delivering one big snafu.”

  7. Andrew Smith

    LNP’s claims are not grounded in any good data analysis. However, one would need to see good data analysis with at least a proven correlation between ‘migrants’ and taking bulk of ‘new’ jobs; most probably more complicated and multi factored phenomenon.

    Further, I was not aware that the Club of Rome, through related constructs eg. ‘social engineering’, was ever migrant friendly?

  8. Miriam English

    Kaye, can you run your mathematician’s eye over these figures? Something strikes me as erroneous here. Apologies to Michael Griffin for my unease.

  9. Phil

    Thanks for revealing this incredible sleight of hand compliments of LNP bastardry. The figures and the fiddling used to distort and corrupt are appalling. Something rotten about Australia under conservatism. I really do see Turnbull and his ministers as traitorous – they stand wholly for themselves – they have happily abandoned ordinary Australians.

  10. Glenn Barry

    On the scope of the deception and it’s inevitable conclusion we will eventually have a nation with 700,000 unemployed amongst a population of 40 million and zero percent net unemployment with 1 million new jobs created each quarter.

    The coalition really are stuck for decent material from which to construct their lies

  11. Kaye Lee

    Miriam,

    I won’t pass judgement on the article but will share some research.

    Over the past year (to the end of April 2018), trend employment increased by 355,200 persons while the labour force has increased by 350,400 persons leading to a drop in unemployed of 4,800 leaving 733,300 people still unemployed. At that rate, we will get full employment in 153 years.

    In recent months there has generally been considerably more than 300,000 people entering employment, and more than 300,000 leaving employment each month.

    Compared to a year ago, there are 256,100 more persons employed full-time and 99,100 more persons employed part-time which caused a very small drop in the part-time share of employment from 31.8 per cent to 31.7 per cent.

    Contributing to a population increase of 395,600 people (not limited to 15-64 year olds), for the year ended 30 September 2017, Australia’s preliminary net overseas migration (NOM) estimate was 250,100 people plus a natural increase of 145,500 people.

    The ABS Survey of Qualifications and Work (2015-16) showed migrants on temporary visas account for 1.9 per cent of all employed people in Australia. The survey put the total number of temporary visa holders in Australia with working rights at 368,500 and estimated that 62 per cent of these visa holders (228,200) had jobs but this data is questionable as it doesn’t include Kiwis and it only includes people who have or will live here for at least 12 months mainly in a private dwelling. Fact check said “Assuming all students, graduates, skilled workers and secondary visa holders are working, and that the employment trends of New Zealand-born workers stayed steady, 8.5 per cent of working people in Australia would be the holders of temporary visas” though that is most unlikely too. Accurate data is pert near impossible – they all make assumptions that can’t be checked.

    I will just add, Australia’s current rate of 1.9 births per woman is below the replacement rate of 2.1 births per woman.

  12. Kaye Lee

    ” six additional hours of work by the same person undertaking the tasks they usually do in their usual job is counted as six brand new jobs.”

    I don’t think that is true.

    From the ABS….

    “users sometimes refer to the increase (or decrease) in employment from month to month as the number of “jobs” created (or lost). This is an incorrect inference, as estimates of “employment” from the LFS (an ABS household survey) refer to counts of people rather than jobs.

    a person holding multiple jobs with different employers would be counted in ABS household surveys as employed once, but in ABS business surveys would be counted once for each job that they held.”

    http://www.abs.gov.au/ausstats/abs@.nsf/Lookup/by%20Subject/6102.0.55.001~Feb%202018~Main%20Features~Jobs~9

  13. Rhonda

    Turnbull & co are fake. fake. fake. fake

  14. Sir Scotchmistery

    Guest I find Molan is just another Turnbull butt bandit. I’ve heard him described, among other things as a hero. He’s the bloke who helped begin the refugee problem. Arsewipe.

  15. Zathras

    This is an example of how Centrelink defines employment.
    “Did you do any paid work last week?”
    “No, but I helped the lady next door weed her garden”
    “How long did it take?
    “Just over an hour”.

    That’s what is classed as “employment” to Centrelink – at least an hour of work, paid or unpaid – and why the employment rate seems to go up while the cost of unemployment benefits also increases. It’s a phony and distorted statistic but now universally accepted.

    Turnbull has obviously decided on his campaign strategy narrative but when the unemployed keep hearing it but seeing their circumstances not changing, it won’t work very well and make him look further and further out of touch.

    As for Molan, his nickname in the Middle East was “the butcher of Fallujah”. He also butchers the facts.

  16. Peter F

    Kaye, As usual you have done well in pointing out the possible misunderstanding which did not make sense- the ‘one job per hour’ belief. However, you do point out that one person who needs to work a few hours here and a few more hours there just to earn enough to survive, is still counted as more than one person ‘in employment’.

  17. Kaye Lee

    Peter F,

    Not in the unemployment figures. The double up comes from business surveys where they ask how many employees. Business surveys will show more people employed for that reason but the unemployment number shows people who have no job.

    “People who appear on more than one payroll are only counted once in the LFS, whereas in the EAS they are counted once for each payroll on which they appear.

    The distinction between jobs and employment is also important when considering full-time/part-time status. As full-time/part-time status relates to a person’s employment (based on the total hours they work in all of their jobs), the number of full-time employed people (and changes in that number) does not equate to the number of full-time jobs in the labour market

    To correctly cite the employment estimates from the LFS, users should refer to employment or the number of people employed, not the number of jobs. Multiple job holding is the main reason why estimates of employment from the LFS cannot be equated to estimates of jobs. One employed person does not necessarily equate to one job – one person can hold more than one job.”

  18. iggy648

    I’m a simpleton. Take the number at the end, the number at the beginning, subtract.
    The population in 2009 was 21.69 million. In 2013 it was 23.12 million. In 2018, 24.70 million. So in the period since the Coalition came to power, the population increased by 1.58 million. In the same period under Labor, the population increased by 1.43 million. Total employment in April 2018 was 12.501 million. In September 2013, it was 11.646 million. In April 2009, 10.799 million. So under the Coalition, employment numbers increased by 855,000 (not quite a million!). Under Labor, 847,00. Hence, per new Australian, there was an average of 855,000/1,580,000 = 0.54 jobs per new person under the Coalition. Pretty good, but not quite as good as under Labor, where there were 847,000/1,430,000 = 0.59 jobs per new person. They should keep trying, because there was a massive drop in hours worked in Australia in the 2 years of Abbott and Hockey. That’s slowly being overcome.
    Also of interest: in September 2013, the ratio of full time to part time jobs was 2.32, in April 2018, it was 2.16. Full time jobs going backwards relatively speaking.
    And remember, in 2009 Labor was dealing with the GFC. (Not as big a handicap as Abbott and Hockey, but still….!)
    What’s up with that?

  19. ace Jones

    I live in huge fruit-growing rural area thousands of tonnes of fruit are picked here every year
    Labor is from South Pacific islanders, flying in , housed in luxury accommodation, swimming pool, spa, etc
    accommodation motel paid for and built in large part by Government grant .
    Australians are not employed by fruit growers, why would you when you can have Islanders working all- hours for low rates
    Islanders are ferried around in fleets of buses, no contact with locals
    Basically fruit-picking employment is a closed shop for Australian residents here

  20. Terence Mills

    This morning, Josh Frydenberg hit us with another statistic wholesale power prices have come down by 30 per cent under the Turnbull government

    Quoted in The Australian today :

    Mr Frydenberg said the government had managed to bring down wholesale power prices by 30 per cent. He said it was hoped retail energy prices in Queensland would fall in the next pricing ­period, from July, but prices were expected to remain flat in NSW and South Australia.

    This statement is so full of holes (it was hoped) that you wonder whether it is just part of a pre-election
    spin-cycle with every minister required to come out with a good news story.

    In the part of Queensland where I live (the North) we have just one publicly owned power retailer (Ergon) and Queenslanders still own all their generating facilities having thrown out the Newman government who wanted to privatise the industry. So, why does Josh particularly mention Queensland, is he conceding that public ownership gives us a better outcome ?

  21. Oppose The Major Parties

    As Peter F points out about Kaye Lee’s ‘analysis’ “However, you do point out that one person who needs to work a few hours here and a few more hours there just to earn enough to survive, is still counted as more than one person ‘in employmen”. There is contradiction in her reasoning. In any event the ABS does not meaure ‘jobs’ for the labour statistics. It measures worling hours. A job can be any length of time & the Aust gov defines a ‘job’ as any one hour of work or additional hour of work. It is therefore a correct inference to say the gov is counting 403K additional working hours as 403K additional or new jobs. Both parties would do this it presents a rosey picture of capitalism as a working system. It dupes the aust people

  22. Oppose The Major Parties

    Kaye Lee’s analysis cannot explain the anomoly of why so many new jobs were claimed to have been created & the nominal fall in unemployment rates of 0.1% during the same period. The only way that can be reconciled is as Griffin and Colebatch have done. The so called additional jobs were taken by visa workers AND the remainder by existing workers i.e. those already employed working additional hours. Hence, thevadditional hours worked by existing works are being treated as new jobs. The anomoly cannot be explained in any other way.

  23. Kaye Lee

    OTMP,

    “It is therefore a correct inference to say the gov is counting 403K additional working hours as 403K additional or new jobs”

    No it isn’t.

    The number of employed people takes no account of how many hours they are employed. It is simply the number of people who did some form of paid (or in kind) employment. They might have 1 job, they might have 5. They might have worked one hour or 70.
    They are still just one employed person.

    If you look at the business survey to see the number of jobs, that will be higher than the number of employed people because some people have more than one job.

    As I said before, the percentage of full time vs part time will be incorrect because they base that on number of hours worked so if you do 35 hours it is counted as full-time even if it is from several jobs. The latest average hours worked per employed person were around 32.3 hours per week which would be considered part-time.

    The point is that the increase in the number of employed people does not equate to the number of jobs created. But it has nothing to do with how many hours they worked.

  24. Kaye Lee

    “Kaye Lee’s analysis cannot explain the anomoly of why so many new jobs were claimed to have been created & the nominal fall in unemployment rates of 0.1% during the same period.”

    The working age population increased by 350,400 which is 4,800 less than the increased number of people employed (355,200) hence the 0.1% drop.

    The whole population increased by 395,600 people made up of 250,100 migrants plus a natural increase of 145,500 people.

    So despite 250,100 new arrivals (not all of whom would be working age), unemployment dropped by 4,800.

  25. Don A Kelly

    What’s to stop an employer from changing a persons part time work roster from one person working five days per week to five people working one day each per week? Hence, five people are employed in the same job instead of one. Statistically this would be five people employed instead of four people unemployed.

  26. OPPOSE THE MAJOR PARTIES

    sorry but this still cannot explain the anomaly:

    “The working age population increased by 350,400 which is 4,800 less than the increased number of people employed (355,200) hence the 0.1% drop”.

    Because ‘working age’ is not a measure of unemployment and those of working age would not be included in the jobless rate if they worked more than one hour but only in the participation rate which does not show up in the unemployment numbers. The indicators you mention are not those used by ABS for Labour Stats. New arrivals are not included in the unemployment stats at all because they would only be ‘arriving’ if they had a job and would never have previously been unemployed…otherwise they would not get in…and therefore they would never show up in the before and after jobless stats.

    The only way to explain the small decrease in unemployment is that 0.1% of the existing registered unemployed gained some work and performed some of the working hours that the ABS measures. This would mean on ABS criteria only 0.1% of the 739K registered unemployed before Turnbull’s jobs boom got one hour of work during the jobs boom. That is, 739 unemployed people got at least one hour of work during the period between the 2016 and 2017 ABS surveys. Only by obtaining at least one hr of work is a registered unemployed person not included in the jobless numbers. For the jobless figure to drop during a period, a person registered as unemployed during the relevant period would need to undertake one hour of work. For it to drop 0.1% then at least 739 registered unemployed would need to work one hour. That amount of work does not account for the number of jobs Turnbull claims to have created. Hence, Colebatch & Griffin do explain this as it means the new jobs were undertaken by migrant visa workers, the existing employed and by a meagre 739 registered unemployed people.

    You are confusing the different factors used in the various ABS statistical calculations. You rely in the business stats which the ABS does not use for employment and labour numbers. It conducts a separate survey for labour figures using the same sample every year and it is a household sample not a business survey sample.

    4,800 is neither 0.1% of 739K unemployed nor 0.1% of the total workforce so the 4800 you calculate cannot account for the 0.1% drop in the unemployment rate. For a 0.1% drop to occur at least 0.1% of the registered unemployed must work at least one hour. That is a fact. Participation rates and business surveys have nothing to do with that.

    Thus,yes, it is a reasonable inference to say the gov is treating 403K additional working hours as 403K new jobs.

  27. OPPOSE THE MAJOR PARTIES

    ‘the ABS reports that those interviewed in their job creation survey for 2017 responded that they were working on average 0.6% more hours than those interviewed for the corresponding survey at the same time in 2016’

    0.6% of full time weekly hours of work is an approximately additional 13 minutes of work per week. Even less for casuals and part-timers

    Given that, what else could be being measured other than new jobs where ‘job’ is defined as an additional hour of work.

    This is Turnbull’s great achievement. He has created an additional 13 mins of work for those already working full time ( now the minority in this country), even less for part timers and casuals and most work for migrants. That is a very insignificant achievement in anyone’s book.

  28. OPPOSE THE MAJOR PARTIES

    The options are now few for the poor and unemployed in Australia. Their options are either dying a miserable death in poverty and insignificance at the hands of their abuses or get them before they completely finish them off. It’s time to take up arms in this shithole of a country.

  29. Miriam English

    Armed revolt? Nope. I don’t think so. That’s the worst possible option. We who live below the poverty line here still have lives of luxury compared to people in other parts of the world.

    We don’t need to hurt people. That would make us the enemy and would make things really bad. The political climate is changing. Religion increasingly is seen as immoral and the right-wing extremists are trying to hold back the ocean. Even with Murdoch’s propaganda help, they’ve made themselves the enemy of too many Australians.

    OTMP, you seriously need to calm down before you have a stroke.

  30. Andrew J. Smith

    Commenters are comparing apples with oranges on headline data, data sets with different definitions and/or formula, based on different methodologies and purposes.

    Good research and analysis requires backgrounding and formulation of clear theses, using mixed research methods.

    Furthermore, ‘immigrant’ is neither clearly defined nor accounts for work restrictions on temp working holiday and students visas.

    The most glaring unfit for purpose data comes under the ‘nebulous’ NOM which is both misunderstood and mispresented by MPs, media etc. for sound bites and attention.

  31. Kaye Lee

    “You are confusing the different factors used in the various ABS statistical calculations. You rely in the business stats which the ABS does not use for employment and labour numbers. It conducts a separate survey for labour figures using the same sample every year and it is a household sample not a business survey sample.”

    No I’m not. From the beginning I have pointed out that they measure different things. The labour force survey measures how many people had some employment regardless of hours – that is the important part. It measure the number of people, not the number of hours.

    The business survey measures how many people are employed by a business ie the number of jobs. Jobs will be greater than the number of people employed because some people have more than one job.

  32. OPPOSE THE MAJOR PARTIES

    ‘OTMP, you seriously need to calm down before you have a stroke’ Der. U are offensive.. You should get a brain before you cause anyone else any other damage.Smug rude pompous nob! Its time for action sweety. If u don’t like it get out of th way and go and hide under your bed. Don’t come out until its over but don’t expect to reap any of benefits. Sick to death of pompous petite bourgeois identify politics from welfare state centreists telling everyone what to do as if they some-how have the high moral ground. I don’t give a shite about what your morals are because they don’t bind me and I have no qualms about stringing up any of the abusive AHs. Go take an asprin and cupotea & have a lie down for awhile dear.

  33. Kaye Lee

    Wow. Overreaction.

    I also don’t want violence. Physical or verbal.

    I agree all of the statistics have their limitations. The main point I am trying to make is that the employment and unemployment figures quoted in the ABS Labour Force Survey relate to individuals, not hours worked. They have a very large range when you look at the 95% confidence level and, as others have pointed out, the definition of employment is too easily met. I’m not commenting on the quality of the figures, just how they are measured.

    I agree about the insidious rise of contract work and labour hire firms. Rules need to be tightened up there. But with the systematic undermining of unions, these protections are being eroded.

    Back in the day, we would have called a general strike, but untion membership is so low now, it would be unlikely to be effective (unless we got the beer carters to go out and hold firm).

  34. Kronomex

    OTMP, if Miriam was being “offensive” then what do you call this, “You should get a brain before you cause anyone else any other damage.Smug rude pompous nob! Its time for action sweety.” from you? That’s offensive! You have effectively described yourself with that reply. All you are doing is proving that you have a very thin skin. Grow up. I think you are the one who needs to take an asprin and have lie down.

    I look forward to your, no doubt, blistering reply. Have fun.

  35. Miriam English

    OTMP, you haven’t thought things through properly. You don’t realise what a gift to the right-wing extremist authoritarians such words and actions would be. What do you think the reaction to a few assassinations would be? Dutton would be over-the-moon joyous that he could finally have his Gestapo (he tried to before but was stopped by public condemnation). The government would abolish all left-wing associations. It would send this country backwards to the era of “commies under the beds”.

    And it would be a major tragedy to have this happen when all we have to do is wait out the collapse of the loony right-wing. The hilarious morons shoot themselves in the foot almost daily. This is perhaps one of the main reasons Bill Shorten is not being as pushy as he might: he’s letting the government destroy themselves. They’re like Keystone Kops.

    Violence would be the greatest lifesaver you could hand them. It would give them the distraction they so desperately want and would motivate sympathy for these soulless monsters.

    Perhaps you’re spending too much time on the internet. Close the computer down, take a deep breath, and go for a walk; smell the flowers, greet some neighbors, pat a dog, watch a sunset, enjoy a comedy. Cool down.

  36. OPPOSE THE MAJOR PARTIES

    this site has very few readers exactly because of the insipid comments that are made above. This article has already attracted nearly 1500 readers on FB and its been linked there for about 2 hrs.

  37. Miriam English

    OTMP, did you notice your comment contradicts itself?

  38. Kaye Lee

    John Lord’s day to day columns attract similar numbers of readers on a slow day. Today’s is 1600 so far. I don’t know about facebook but I know he has many followers there too.

    This site provides a venue for articles like this to be published. But it also provides an opportunity for fact checking, discussion and other opinions.

    I, for one, am grateful it exists.

  39. OPPOSE THE MAJOR PARTIES

    NOTHING TO LOSE. Those that have gained nothing from the neoliberal con have nothing to lose. https://amp-theguardian-com.cdn.ampproject.org/v/s/amp.theguardian.com/australia-news/2018/jun/04/the-big-con-how-neoliberals-convinced-us-there-wasnt-enough-to-go-around?amp_js_v=a1&amp_gsa=1&usqp=mq331AQCCAE%3D#amp_tf=From%20%251%24s&ampshare=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.theguardian.com%2Faustralia-news%2F2018%2Fjun%2F04%2Fthe-big-con-how-neoliberals-convinced-us-there-wasnt-enough-to-go-around

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