The June ABS Labour Force figures show employment continuing to grow but at a much slower rate than the growth in the working age population (WAP) – over the past 12 months employment rose by only 0.9% while the WAP increased at double that rate (1.8%).
This indicates further large increases in those who have given up actively looking for work. And these partly reflect the adverse effects of the regulatory system.
Labour Force – Increases Since June 2013
Employment 1,042 0.9
Working Age Population 3,774 1.8
Although the unemployment rate is up only 0.1 percentage point to 6.0% (S Adj), the labour market is much weaker than this suggests. The failure of the growth in employment to keep up with the working age population increase means continuing high drop outs of the labour force. Before the Fair Work legislation employment was growing faster than the WAP.
Unless there is a major improvement in labour demand the Abbott Government will not achieve the budget forecast employment growth of 1.5% in 2014-15. And Abbott’s pre-election jobs target of a one million increase within five years will fall well short.
The revelations at the Royal Commission show that urgent changes must be made to the existing regulatory legislation, and the administration of it, to remove the bias evident in the existing arrangements and stop militant unionism. The proposals to reform the ABBC and other minor reforms are welcome but have yet to be implemented and will not themselves change union behaviour.
Publicity Officer: Des Moore (9867 1235)