Thursday, December 11, 2014

Unemployment Jump More Bad News for Santa

A week ago Joe Hockey was urging consumers to look after Santa. But the latest rise in unemployment is still more evidence that the Liberal Government is Santa's great enemy.

Unemployment has risen to 6.3 per cent. Over 775,000 Australians are out of work. The total number of hours worked in Australia last month actually FELL by 0.3 per cent. This is clearly a recipe for an income recession. This is clearly a major reason why the Westpac-Melbourne Institute Consumer Sentiment Index is now at its lowest level in over three years. Ugly news for Santa.

The big end of town doesn't care about unemployment or job insecurity, because they believe they make better profits if they can keep wages down, and they think that unemployment and job insecurity through a part-time, casualised workforce, keeps wages down. They should be careful for what they wish for. The economy is not travelling well, and could get worse.

There is a number of things the Liberal Government could do to stop the slide in consumer confidence. They could abandon their plans to deregulate student fees and to cut pension indexation. They could abandon their plans for job cuts in health, education, the CSIRO, the ABC, and many other areas of the public sector workforce. They could stop undermining manufacturing in Australia's automotive component parts and shipbuilding industries.

But most of all they should put a stop to the migrant worker programs that skyrocketed in times when Australia's unemployment was much lower and job security was much higher.

It is crazy that we now have permanent net overseas migration running at three times the rate it did during the 1990s, and in addition we have over one million people in Australia on temporary visas which give them work rights.

The Consumer Sentiment Index and today's unemployment rise show the absurdity of Joe Hockey urging consumers to spend up big for Santa. It is like a Football Coach who has his players run twenty laps and do a hundred push ups on the morning of a match, then exhorts his team to go out and kill em.


  1. Our government recognizes that our sluggish economy is not creating enough jobs to keep up with the increasing size of the work force, yet our "skilled" migration program continues to advertize our so-called "skill shortages" all over the world! If we do have an actual while we have this outrageous unemployment rate, then it's an indication that educational and training schemes are failing to match business needs, and that there are more people than our economy can employ!
    It's said that there are more than one million temporary employees in Australia, adding the unemployment of Australians. It's assumed that "big" is better, and population growth will actually create jobs, when it isn't. It's time to trim our government's unrealistic growth agendas, and limit immigration.

  2. The rant about Australia's "skill shortages" has been toned down, and now the list is simply the Skilled Occupation List, SOL, of jobs "needed" in Australia. Many of them are not in short supply! We have engineers, accountants, nurses and IT specialists who are unemployed, and migrants accessing their jobs. It puts downward pressure on wages and conditions by introducing global competition. Population growth rode us over the GFC, but now we have record youth unemployment, cuts to government sponsored jobs, and our economy is sluggish. Instead of trimming population growth, our government can only "fix" the welfare budget by cutting free the unemployed from unemployment benefits! Non-performing politicians should be cut free from their financial support.