MEDIA RELEASE: 8 February 2015
Unemployment Up 0.4% since last January
The unemployment rate of 6.4% (s adj) in January is 0.4 percentage point higher than it was in January 2014 as was the unadjusted figure of 6.8%. Moreover, the increase of employment of only 1.6% over the past year continues to fail to keep pace with the growth in the working age population of 1.8%.
Given the slower growth in the economy, which the Reserve Bank expects to slow further in the lead up to the election, it is clear that the regulatory arrangements (wage awards and other regulations) are pushing unemployment higher.
These developments in the labour market emphasise the need for deregulation of workplace relations and the establishment of a much more flexible market.
Although the growth in wages is now no higher than inflation, Australia’s wages have been growing faster than in developed countries, resulting in reduced competitiveness. While the reduction in the exchange rate will help offset that, that is not the best way of improving competitiveness
Publicity Officer: Des Moore (9867 1235)