Friday, August 13, 2010

Found: 112,000 missing jobs

Australia's booming jobs market has done more than present Prime Minister Gillard with an extra 23,500 jobs in July. It's found her a completely unexpected 112,000.

The 112,000 missing jobs - not previously recognised by the Bureau of Statistics - were added discretely to its total for June in the publication released yesterday, lifting it from a record 11.1 million to 11.212 million - an easy Australian record.

The jobs were "found" during a regularly-scheduled adjustment to the factor the Bureau uses to scale up its survey results to get a picture of the entire population. Because the population has been growing faster than the Bureau thought it would its had to scale up results further.

While it has scaled up every employment result since 2006, it has scaled up the recent ones more strongly meaning that Labor will now be able to boast of creating 485,000 new jobs while in office, instead of the previous 450,000.

Actually it'll be able to add on the extra 23,500 jobs created in July, produced at the still impressive rate of 760 per day, somewhat slower than in recent months.

An even faster increase in the number of Australians looking for work pushed the unemployment rate up from 5.1 to 5.3 per cent.

Prime Minister Gillard talked up the jump in unemployment saying it was "good that people have the confidence to look for work"...

Opposition leader Tony Abbott said he was "disappointed" the underemployment had inched up.

"The important thing is what are the most effective policies to pursue to bring unemployment down," he said. "Wasteful spending is never the right way to go and we have seen a super-abundance of waste."

NSW created the lions' share of Australia's 23,500 new jobs in July, putting an extra 16,400 people into work at a rate of 530 new jobs per day. Victoria gained 8600 workers and and South Australia 4400. Queensland and Western Australia shed jobs.

Although the jobs market is improving for Australians recently out of work the welfare agency Mission Australia said its job-placement arm was finding it harder to place longer term less skilled workers.

"Our numbers of Stream 1 or easier clients are sliding, down 17 per cent since January," said employment team leader Lincoln Hooper. "But the our numbers of Stream 2 or harder clients are climbing, up 12 per cent nationwide."

"The employment news is good, but it is easy to forget that there is a tail to to the problem, especially for people who never dreamed they would be unemployed. Employers take the recently out of work, leaving those out of work longer to stay out even longer."

The figures show 117,000 new jobs created since January, 108,000 of them full-time.

Published in today's SMH and Age 

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