Employment Grows Faster than Budget Forecast

HR Nicholls Society

MEDIA RELEASE – The HR Nicholls Society

19 September 2015

Employment Grows Faster than Budget Forecast

The August ABS Labour Force figures show an encouraging growth of 2.0% s.adj in employment over the past twelve months. This is faster than the 2015-16 budget forecast (1.5%) and than the growth in the working age population of 1.5%. This means that there has been a significant increase (2.2%) in the participation rate ie the proportion of the working age population which is employed or actively looking for work.

Labour Force – Increases Since August 2014

000s Percent
Employment 235 2.0
Working Age Population* 284 1.5
Participation Rate 265 2.2
Unemployed 30 4.0

This confirms that the pick-up in the economy is being sustained. Particularly significant is that the states adversely affected by the mining slow down (Western Australia and Qld) have experienced increases in employment. Only Victoria had a reduction.

Although the unemployment rate has fallen slightly to 6.2% (S adj), the much more important test is whether the growth in employment is keeping up with the working age population increase. This is the case.

However, the under-utilisation rate of 14% indicates that there remains a major unsatisfied demand for work.

Changes must be made to the existing regulatory legislation, and the administration of it, to remove the bias against employers evident in the existing arrangements. The reforms needed will be discussed at the XXXVI Annual Conference of the HR Nicholls Society entitled “The Fair Work Act – an Australian idiosyncrasy” to be held in Melbourne on Wednesday 23rd of September at Roy Morgans in Collins St. Speakers include: Mr Tony Shepherd, chairman, WestConnex Delivery Authority, past president of Business Council of Australia and Stuart Barklamb, Executive Director, Australian Mines and Metals Association.

Contact: M Moore on 0403 345 546

Publicity Officer: Des Moore (9867 1235)

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