The development of this trend does not mean higher unemployment but a much greater increase in those who have given up actively looking for work (you can’t be counted as unemployed unless you are actively looking).
You say that Kent mainly attributes this development to an increased desire to retire and that only about 25 per cent are discouraged workers. But the sudden increase in drop outs coincides with the introduction of the greatly increased regulation of workplace relations and the accompanying employment deterrent effects experienced by employers, such as the absurd penalty rates.
The marked slowing in the growth in employment to only 0.9 per cent over the past 12 months suggests that the budget forecast for 2014-15 of 1.5% growth will be very difficult to achieve unless major changes are made to existing regulations which markedly reduce deterrent effects. Read more