Jobs and growth … chasing its tail … with ever more people migrating here there is a much bigger pool looking for work … a million jobs 30 years ago when we had a much smaller population meant somethin’ …
KEY POINTS …
-almost half the new jobs created between 2013 and 2018 were part-time
-due to the reduction in average hours worked, driven by part-time work, that the million-job threshold was reached and exceeded
-the labour market must create more than 1 million jobs every five years to keep up with population growth
The federal government’s success in meeting a newly minted target to create 1.25 million jobs in the next five years will, like its predecessor, likely hinge on population growth, say economists.
Prime Minister Scott Morrison unveiled the new target on Tuesday after the government last year met its target to create 1 million jobs in five years after its election in 2013.
“Our job growth has been high in terms of numbers but that is because the population growth, mainly immigrants, has been high,” Bob Gregory from the Australian National University Research School of Economics said.
“If you correct for full-time jobs the labour market has been even flatter because we have created so many part-time jobs. This is not necessarily bad, but it does mean that it is more difficult to get a job for those looking for full-time work.”
“If the government cuts immigration numbers substantially, the job growth will also fall so that they could not achieve 1 million,” he said.
Professor of Economics at the University of New South Wales Richard Holden said flat wages growth was concerning and the unemployment rate could be lower, but overall the picture was not bleak.
The number of full-time jobs created has been high by historical standards and “there is not a big move to part-time and casualisation supported by the numbers”.
“Labour force participation rates in Australia are pretty high by world standards,” he said.
“I don’t agree with the idea that the economy is not creating enough jobs overall. And I don’t think the shift towards part-time is supported by the facts. A lot of people want to work part-time.”
A lot of people want to work part-time.
UNSW’s Richard Holden
*A report by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work to be released on Wednesday shows that almost half the new jobs created between 2013 and 2018 were part-time.
“It is only because of the reduction in average hours worked, driven by part-time work, that the million-job threshold was reached and exceeded,” the report says.
Report author Jim Stanford said the 2013-2018 period marked the 10th time in Australia’s history that more than 1 million jobs were created over five years. The first time was 30 years ago.
Dr Stanford said that given the size and growth rate of Australia’s working age population, the labour market must create more than 1 million jobs every five years to keep up with population growth and to maintain unemployment at its current rate.
“In the next five years, the labour market will need to produce well over 1 million jobs again, just to keep up with the swelling population.”
Minister for Jobs and Industrial Relations Kelly O’Dwyer said more than 1 million jobs have been created under the Coalition government but under Labor, the unemployment rate increased by 1.3 per cent.
Anna Patty is Workplace Editor for The Sydney Morning Herald. She is a former Education Editor, State Political Reporter and Health Reporter. Her reports on inequity in schools funding led to the Gonski reforms and won her national awards. Her coverage of health exposed unnecessary patient deaths at Campbelltown Hospital and led to judicial and parliamentary inquiries. At The Times of London, she exposed flaws in international medical trials.