This week’s unemployment figures should have seen the MSM frothing at the mouth. With over 800,000 Australians looking for work and no sign of any nation building projects to address this appalling number, the MSM is either asleep at the computer, or complicit in trying to conceal what is a failure of leadership.
Tony Abbott has developed a new three word slogan for those who can’t think. It’s ‘Jobs and Growth’ but those of us who can think are wondering what he is doing to make it all happen.
Talking ‘jobs and growth’, as Abbott repeated no less than 6 times in 32 seconds at a press conference last week, is campaigning at its most basic and pointless unless it is supported by hard facts.
So where is the growth plan that will create the jobs?
The strategy apparently, is to lower taxes, reform workplace laws and run smaller government which, as it happens, is the opposite of what they should be doing.
What they should be doing is spending money, and lots of it, on value adding infrastructure. That is what creates jobs and growth. But it seems anything remotely related to spending money is anathema to this government’s ideology.
At a press conference last week, Employment Minister Eric Abetz described the rise in unemployment for July as “disappointing”. He added, “But nevertheless the figures do indicate that we have to do more for the economy.”
Yes, we know that Senator, but what is it that you are doing?
In response, ACTU president, Ged Kearney said what was obvious to all except, it seems, the government. “Why this government is pursuing this path of cutting, cutting, cutting – cutting skills and programs, cutting support to apprenticeship programs, not actually investing in training up a workforce, is beyond me.”
As fond as Tony Abbott was to quote Rush Limbaugh during the election campaign of 2013 when he said, “No country ever taxed or subsidised its way to prosperity”, he could do better paying attention to Ged Kearney who said “You can’t cut your way to growth.”
This week’s unemployment figures are a disgrace.
The summary ABS Labour Force (seasonally adjusted) estimates for July 2015 are:
- Employment increased 38,500 (0.3 per cent) with full-time employment increasing by 12,400 and part-time employment rising by 26,100.
- Unemployment increased 40,100 to 800,700.
- The official unemployment rate increased by 0.3 points to 6.3 per cent from a revised June 2015 estimate.
- The participation rate increased by 0.3 points 65.1 per cent. It is still well below its November 2010 peak (recent) of 65.9 per cent.
- Aggregate monthly hours worked decreased by 3.4 million hours (0.2 per cent).
There are now 1,838,000 Australians either unemployed (6.3%) or underemployed (8.6%), a total of 14.9% of the available workforce.
Amazingly, Abetz in his press conference referred to the increase in the participation rate as “good news, because more people are wanting to enter the workforce.”
It won’t do them much good if a rise in employment growth is offset by more people registering for work and there are no jobs to find, Eric. Particularly when most of that improvement was in part-time work.
Bill Mitchell gives a comprehensive analysis of the July figures here.