FWC Must Take Unemployment Into Account

The Fair Work Commission must take today’s increase in unemployment into account when it reviews the federal minium wage.

With the seasonal unemployment rate climbing to 5.6% in March from 5.4% in February and up by 0.4% over the course of the year there are real dangers that people will be locked out of the labour market.

Crictically job seekers are also increasingly discouraged from seeking work with the participation rate falling 0.2% from 65.3% in February to 65.1% in March.

Futher the latest ABS data reveals that long term unemployment (July 2012) now stands at 19.6%.

The latest increase in unemploment will only exacerbate this trend.

Coupled with the increase in unemployment the aggregate number of hours worked, seasonally adjusted, fell by five million.

The fact that unemployment has risen by almost half a percent since the FWC made its last decision must be taken into account.

When the FWC announced last yar the minium wage would increase by $17.10 per week its also noted its responsibility to account “social inclusion through increased workforce participation.”

The latest data should give the FWC pause before setting rates that breach its responsibilities.

The HR Nicholls Society will shortly release its submission to the Minimum Wage Panel.

Further information:   Adam Bisits 0438 405 527; Ian Hanke 0407 841 957

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