‘We’ve got a job to do’: The battle to get people back to work
More than two years after the global financial crisis, Australia’s economy is slowly picking up again, and many Australians are finally starting to see some job opportunities.
Key points:Australia has the worst jobless rate in the developed worldThe unemployment rate in Australia has been cut in half since the financial crisisBut the jobless numbers have not been as good as many hopedThe economy has picked up again with the introduction of a carbon tax and more than half of the jobs created by the Government’s stimulus package are in the service sector, according to the latest ABS employment data.
The number of jobs in the construction, manufacturing, hospitality and other sectors grew by just 2,500 in June, but the economy has bounced back nicely, with job growth in all sectors of the economy rising by 5 per cent.
However, while the numbers look good, there is still some work to be done, with the unemployment rate now at just 2.9 per cent, a record low.
This was achieved through an extraordinary and welcome recovery in public-sector employment, particularly in construction, with public sector workers getting the biggest jump, up nearly 10 per cent in June.
This is because private sector employment has been hit hard by the global recession and has been shedding jobs at a faster rate than it has in recent years.
In the last four years, the Government has boosted the wages of workers in the private sector by about 4 per cent by introducing the carbon tax, which will bring down greenhouse gas emissions by more than 40 per cent compared with the same period last year.
And there are more good news out there, with unemployment down from 8.5 per cent a year ago to 6.3 per cent at the end of June.
The Government has also announced it will introduce the Government-funded JobBridge program, which aims to hire up to 250,000 new jobs over the next three years.
The numbers have been encouraging, with employment rising by 3.2 per cent since the end, and the Government says it is on track to meet its target of bringing in about 1 million new jobs in 2018.
But with the recovery in the economy still slow, there are still some concerns about the future.
What we know about Australia’s job marketIn a recent report, the Reserve Bank predicted that the number of people looking for work in Australia would grow by just 4.4 per cent this year, with most of the gains going to people aged 25-34.
The report said the number was likely to continue rising because people would be unable to find work if they had to wait for their wages to rise.
But the Reserve noted that the economy was not as strong as it was in the aftermath of the global economic downturn, and that some areas of the country were still struggling.
“There are still risks for the labour market in some parts of the nation and a sharp downturn is still expected,” it said.