Job cuts are set to dominate the economic news again this year, so it’s going to be important to keep things in perspective.

Oh, so you want a rate cut to go with those job cuts? Photo: Marie Nirme

Official job figures out last week show the economy had 5500 fewer jobs last December than it did last November. As a result, the number of people looking for but unable to find work jumped by 16,600 to 656,400, and the jobless rate went from 5.3 per cent to 5.4 per cent.

Last year, total employment grew just 1 per cent, lagging behind population growth of 1.6 per cent. The economy needs to create about 13,000 extra jobs each month just to absorb population growth.

This is shaping up as a tough year for job seekers, with economists forecasting that the jobless rate will climb even higher - perhaps as high as 6 per cent.

Economists have been tipping a rise in the jobless rate for a while now, as the high Australian dollar puts pressure on big employers such as tourism, manufacturing and education services.

More surprising has been the relative health of the jobs market, with high profile job losses offset by less well-reported job gains in health, aged care and services.

Here are some statistics to keep in mind the next time you hear of large-scale job cuts.

Every month the economy creates and destroys tens of thousands of jobs. The figure the media focuses on - 5500 jobs lost - is the net figure, and this belies the real churn that goes on in the labour market.

Economist Bruce Chapman did a study two years ago which found that, on average, about 370,000 people who are jobless in one month are employed the following month. Conversely, about 370,000 people who are employed one month are jobless the next.

The jobless queue may grow, but it’s not the same 650,000 people in the queue every month.

And a Reserve Bank research paper released just before Christmas also suggests a remarkable degree of stability for many in the workforce.

It found 80 per cent of workers have been in their current job for more than a year. Fact is, most of us will end the year in the same job as we began it.

The Bureau of Statistics also keeps a record of the number of “job separations” each year. Turns out that of the 2.5 million separations a year, two-thirds, or 1.7 million, are voluntary. About half of these are people leaving for a better or more suitable job. The other half leave for life-cycle or personal reasons such as having a baby or retirement.

That leaves around 800,000 “involuntary separations” a year. Of these, 390,000 are retrenchments and 423,000 are temporary jobs.

The figures show the number of involuntary separations has been ticking up since 2010 as a result of huge structural changes. Economists expect this to continue this year.

Households’ lower appetite for debt is also hurting retail, banking and housing construction.

The good news is that the Reserve Bank is aware of this and has been slashing interest rates to support jobs and growth. It can cut again.

Jessica Irvine is National Economics Editor.

Comments on this post will close at 8pm AEDT.

Most commented


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    • Tubesteak says:

      09:25am | 21/01/13

      Lets see if I can get this in early enough:


    • Andrew says:

      09:34am | 21/01/13

      That should pretty much cover everyone so hopefully we can get through without political ranting.

    • GROBP says:

      10:01am | 21/01/13

      Didn’t you tell me Tubesteak that everything was fine and we’d move to a new economy in servicing?

      What’s coming is mass unemployment, massive reduction in wages, a complete housing and banking crash…..How anyone sees it differently I’d love to read. We don’t do anything; mining supply to China will be sourced from places where wages are a tenth here. How consuming stuff runs an economy is about to show the clowns running this country for the past 30 years how wrong they are. We all know it, we’ve all pretended it’s okay when it makes absolutely no sense thinking we can all live like kings and queens while emerging economies work their butts off. . What we’ve done for 30 years is spend the nations entire wealth by selling farms, mining and business…At the same time we’ve racked up the highest personal debt on the planet.. Our housing costs are staggeringly ridiculous (imagine when wages halve or worse). We’ve lived the high life while pretending it’s a genuine sustainable economy. Our kids will start paying the price of our ridiculous greed, selfishness and stupidity about now. Talking it up is grossly irresponsible, will prove counterproductive and make recovery completely impossible .

    • gof says:

      10:42am | 21/01/13

      #Tubesteak ,
      Not entirely all Tony’s fault but he has a lot to answer for.
      The GST strangled the cash flow of small business, increased regulation and business bureaucracy and created a new big black economy. It has taken 10 years for us to feel the full impact of this dreadful tax mainly in part to a weaken dollar and mining boom up until 2007.
      The GST is the causation of today’s employment and economic woes, combined with unsustainable middle class welfare introduced by the worst economic managers in history according to the IMF, yes the previous NLP government has cause this almost irreversible slide into the economic abyss.
      This country is very lucky to have had Mr Swan available to us to save this country from the NLP produced economic abyss and bring us back from the brink to be one of the most productive economies in the World, however the tainted remains and foul smells of the previous NLP government still waft through the economy to this day.

    • Number Cruncher says:

      12:18pm | 21/01/13

      @ gof,
      That is utter bulldust re GST.  The GST replaced a few state taxes and as far as business is concerned, sales tax ranging from 12-32% was replaced with uniform GST of 10%.  Inflation was 3% the quarter GST was introduced (not 10%) so there was no significant rise in cost of living. From my experience, small business struggling with GST debt have not financed their business correctly and fail to treat GST component of revenue as a tax collection and use it as part of their ordinary cash flow.

    • JoniM says:

      12:41pm | 21/01/13

      “Job cuts are coming but lets keep them in perspective ! Please !”

      Keep up the good fight Jessica ! Your PM needs you !

      But as GROBP indicates, you can only deceive the people for so long.
      It doesn’t take a Rhodes scholar or a Reserve Bank Governor to work out that we have trouble aplenty heading our way. Dutch disease, anyone ? The deceptive analysing and reporting of unemployment & under employment figures will soon be most obvious. The wasteful using up of the RBA ‘s monetary options to cover for a government’s incompetent fiscal strategies and its general economic illiteracy, will be rued for a long time.
      The buck is about to stop right here !

    • tez says:

      12:47pm | 21/01/13

      @ Gof; The GST strangled the cash flow of small business, increased regulation and business bureaucracy and created a new big black economy
      Have to agree Gof the GST caused the shut down of many small manufaturing and engineering shops around us the admin was too costly and while still waiting on invoices to be paid when the GST was going out the other end. It has been a great big give to the black economy.

    • Tubesteak says:

      12:57pm | 21/01/13

      My comment at 9:25 was facetious. Your comment proves you have no clue. I think you once said you were an engineer and it is evident in your limited thinking. You have no understanding of how economies work and seem to think it’s a zero-sum game using resources set centuries ago with a 19th century manufacturing-based mindset. You couldn’t be more wrong but I don’t have the time to thoroughly debunk your crackpot notions. To shed some light on how wrong you are I’ll tell you this: Einstein said compounding interest was the most powerful force in the universe. When you understand that in context of how economies operate and what you said you will begin to understand how far off you are

    • GROBP says:

      02:30pm | 21/01/13

      Oh yeah. Economists have a real good grasp of what’s going on Tubesteak. The whole west is broke and you’re saying they know what’s going on? What they know is how to trick a dumb and distracted electorate in to selling their entire futures. I will tell you again. I am not an engineer and never said I was. Einstein’s theory could best be applied to the compounding consumption of all our resources. Given that; how can infinite growth be possible?

      I’ll stick with my 19th century manufacturing-based mindset before I believe your “selling services and education” to a far more clever emerging market. Tell me even one thing they want to know from us that they either don’t already know, can’t get from the net for free, can’t get for a tenth the price elsewhere, or can’t learn and train the trainer.

      Selling them services is frankly ridiculous. The only thing they ever wanted from us was for us to hand over all our resources and consume. We fell for it hook line and will now pay the horrendous price.

    • AdamC says:

      09:32am | 21/01/13

      If Julia et al were minded to actually do something about any of this, they could dust off the former Productivity Commission chief’s departing speech and implement some of its recommendations. (I have linked to it many time before; just go to the Productivity Comission website). I will not be holding my breath.

      I suspect Wayne and Julia will do nothing and simply continue to compare favourably our current situation with that of mendicant Europe. Aiming high, as always.

      Anyway, sorry everyone for the partisant comment. (I just couldn’t help myself, for some reason.) But I thought Jessica’s information about job market churn, etc, was very interesting. She has been a nice addition to News Ltd and the Punch!

    • AdamC says:

      12:02pm | 21/01/13

      So, Simon, I take it you think the government should do nothing because everything is fine and nothing needs to be done?

      I can just see the election slogan now: “Shut up, you whingers! Vote: 1 Labor!”

    • james says:

      12:31pm | 21/01/13

      Adam the government is hardly doing nothing as you say.

      Simon is trying to point out that the decisions and policies made, good and bad have not wrecked the place, like some from the LNP tend to parrot on a daily basis.

    • simonfromlakemba says:

      01:22pm | 21/01/13

      No Adam just asking yo to take off your blinkers and by your response they are still firmly on.

      As James pointed out, its not all doom and gloom as LNP’ers think.

      LOL have to laugh at the slogan. Abbotts would be ‘vote for us because we aren’t them’!

    • ZSRenn says:

      01:55pm | 21/01/13

      @ Simon underemployment rate on the rise. The ABS tell us we need to look at both when discussing employment.

      Inflation rose 2.0% through the year to the September quarter 2012, compared with a rise of 1.2% through the year to the June quarter 2012.

      Not a massive change in growth. How is this a good thing? Don’t we need to grow or is being stagnant OK? Not to mention we have had two quarters of negative growth since 2009 compared to our last period of negative growth back in 2001

      Labor hasn’t done a lot wrong in its term. Have you been asleep or do I have to write the whole blurb from race riots to border protection again?

      Now we are facing rising unemployment and your call is “nothing to see here move along”

      This is the whole problem with the Gillard government. They are too busy trying to get reelected and not paying attention to what is going on financially in the world and Australia.

      How else would Swann keep telling us he was going to make surplus when 12 months ago anybody who was paying attention told him he couldn’t.

    • AdamC says:

      02:57pm | 21/01/13

      James, well, almost all of Labor’s major policies in government have been anti-business or anti-economic activity in one way or another. The carbon tax; the Fair Work Act; the mining tax (mark 1 and 2); the arbitrary live export and supertrawler bans: these all have the effect (and/or the intention) of increasing the cost or risk of productive investment. So the fact that the place is not yet wrecked is in spite of Labor policy, not because of it.

      Simon, there seems to be quite a bit of doom and gloom in some quarters, if not in the headline numbers. Personally, I cannot see why we are growing only at trend during one of the biggest mining investment booms in our history. I suspect some of the policies I mention above have something to do with it.

      “Abbotts would be ‘vote for us because we aren’t them’! “

      Haha, that would be good enough for me!

    • james says:

      03:22pm | 21/01/13

      AdamC, that is why Australia is still ranked #1 for mining investment.

      We all tire of the partisan cheering from time to time.

    • Gregg says:

      03:27pm | 21/01/13

      Yep Simon, great electioneering Slogan
      ” Abbotts would be ‘vote for us because we aren’t them’! “

      Maybe ” Do you want Kevolemon or the Knifer ” could be an option too.

    • wm says:

      09:45am | 21/01/13

      How very un-News Ltd of you Jess! Some facts with good analysis without the partisan anti-Gillard politicking. Keep it up…cue young liberal trolls…

    • Keith Hammersmith says:

      11:21am | 21/01/13

      She did a great job, i now know that unemployment rates going up is not bad at all, its just a “shift”  Thanks Jess!
      No spin there at all!!

    • JoniM says:

      12:44pm | 21/01/13

      Spot on Keith !
      You can’t beat a great set of fundamentals !
      Especially when dealing with the illiterate !

    • wm says:

      01:27pm | 21/01/13

      going up!! lololol. ummmm. sorry to break it to you, but the GFC actually happened. Australia 5.4%. US 7.8% Europe 11.8%...but thats OK, keep your fingers in your ears…by the way, we lost 5000 jobs, but didn’t Newman sack 7000 workers in QLD? do the math tories…

    • Keith Hammersmith says:

      02:39pm | 21/01/13

      so the unemployment rate is not going up??  Hmm, Labor minds, hard to argue with the “its not happening” argument eh mate.  your right, Europe is not doing so well, but of course they are not going through the BIGGEST MINING BOOM in this countries history, and still have a stagnating economy,  but yes, it is all Cambell Newmans fault.  He only inherited a failed QLD economy after years of - wait for it - THE BIGGEST MINING BOOM in QLDs history,  hmm who presided over that I wonder??
      And now when unemployment is on the rise, instead of doing something about it, Labor is saying that that is is ok, its only a shift, or better yet, “Europe is worse”, sorry that doesn’t make me feel better.

      Who exactly has “their fingers in their ears” wm?

    • wm says:

      02:59pm | 21/01/13

      huh? so are you saying that 5.4 % is bad? Are you? Really?
      Do you also think that interest rates of 6.4% are bad?

      Your only argument seems to be that “it could be better”. Which is as lame as it gets I reckon. “Yeah, mr abbott, mr self confessed economic illiterate, I trust you….if you say it’ll be better then surely it will… will you promise? in writing?”

      GFC didn’t happen, GFC didn’t happenGFC didn’t happenGFC didn’t happenGFC didn’t happen…go on, keep saying with your fingers in ears,  seems its the only thing that will make you ‘feel better’

      Seems the whinging aussies have taken the mantle from the Poms…or do I sense that the whingers are really a bunch of sore losing born to ruler tories spitting the dummy, over and over again…

    • ZSRenn says:

      03:28pm | 21/01/13

      @ wm

      Have you read anything Mal or Laurie have written on “The Punch?”

      I think they have always covered both sides well, I know I get agitated at times and think it is all left leaning.

      I, like yourself, am wrong of course!

    • Keith Hammersmith says:

      03:45pm | 21/01/13

      whats the interest rate in europe?  i mean if you want to compare europes employment rate with us lets compare their interest rates then shall we?
      no one said the GFC didnt happen,  but it didnt hurt us us much as labor would like us to think. and unemployment rates are on the increase - FACT. Think about that, “the increase”  good or bad? 5.4% is bad, when they were 5.2 and are now steadily increasing.
      What you need to do is STOP comparing us with the worst economies in the world. Yes it makes us look good “in comparison” but we are not in that barrel, Asia is booming - we were booming and then…

    • Anthony says:

      09:54am | 21/01/13

      If I say our economic fundamentals are not as good as they once were does that make me evil?

    • Esteban says:

      01:03pm | 21/01/13

      Since the ALP came into power we no longer compare our economic fundamentals to previuos times and say “our position has deteriorated and is getting worse”.

      We are allowed to compare ourselves with other countries, most of whom had a head start on economic deterioration and say “look how well we are doing compared to them”

    • je says:

      02:39pm | 21/01/13

      @ esteban - that is an inconvenient truth that the labor luvvies gloss over

    • Andrew Mackinnon says:

      09:59am | 21/01/13

      As long as communist China’s doing well over yonder with the ‘remarkable transformation of their country’ as a result of all the manufacturing jobs sent there from western countries like the USA and Australia, that’s all that matters.  The impoverishment of this nation is a small price to pay for lifting tens of millions of Chinese out of the poverty of their former earthy, rural lifestyles close to the soil so that they spend their entire waking lives working in factories making all of the things that we used to.  Maybe one day they’ll return the favour and send some jobs our way.

      I realise that I’m but a lowly citizen of the Commonwealth of Australia, too simple and gullible to realise what’s best for me.  It’s lucky that this country has had such an abundance of learned leaders over the past thirty years and longer who’ve had the foresight to steer this country in the direction it needs to head, for the betterman of all humanity, especially people who don’t live here.  I feel good that they’ve involved me so graciously in their plans to lift up that great republic of the Red Dragon, which have borne so much fruit in my lifetime.

    • Andrew Mackinnon says:

      10:33am | 21/01/13

      As long as it’s for the betterman of all humanity, that’s the most important thing.  I learnt that at skool.

    • expat says:

      10:51am | 21/01/13

      I wouldn’t exactly call China a communist country anymore. If anything it is more pro business than many capitalist countries.

    • Andrew Mackinnon says:

      11:14am | 21/01/13

      Hi expat

      I sympathise with your optimism, however China is ruled by the “Communist Party of China” which means that this “People’s Republic of China” is a communist country.  One can only imagine what life is like in such a ruling party, presiding over more than 1.3 billion people.  I’m pretty sure that they can get bubbles in their drinks if they want them.

      The whole point of communism is to enrich a tiny minority at the expense of an overwhelming majority.  This is the objective of the global communism which the global elite have planned for us!


    • Andrew Mackinnon says:

      11:14am | 21/01/13

      Hi expat

      I sympathise with your optimism, however China is ruled by the “Communist Party of China” which means that this “People’s Republic of China” is a communist country.  One can only imagine what life is like in such a ruling party, presiding over more than 1.3 billion people.  I’m pretty sure that they can get bubbles in their drinks if they want them.

      The whole point of communism is to enrich a tiny minority at the expense of an overwhelming majority.  This is the objective of the global communism which the global elite have planned for us!

    • Andrew Mackinnon says:

      11:14am | 21/01/13

      Hi expat

      I sympathise with your optimism, however China is ruled by the “Communist Party of China” which means that this “People’s Republic of China” is a communist country.  One can only imagine what life is like in such a ruling party, presiding over more than 1.3 billion people.  I’m pretty sure that they can get bubbles in their drinks if they want them.

      The whole point of communism is to enrich a tiny minority at the expense of an overwhelming majority.  This is the objective of the global communism which the global elite have planned for us!

    • Gregg says:

      11:42am | 21/01/13

      And what if all those Chinese folk over yonder are just not doing so well and they just don’t want a whole heap of people to realise just how unwell they are heading to be.
      Stuff like ghost unfitted out tower cities seen as an investment, ships built without orders other than to keep workers employed, pushing motor cycles on to farmers who cannot afford them but it’ll help keep the factories going etc.

      And hey, lets not forget that they are currently immunising themselves against the next bird flu by coating their internals with a nice smoggy gue.
      And then after all that, they might just find cheaper supplies for iron and coal.

    • Andrew Mackinnon says:

      12:24pm | 21/01/13

      I honestly believe that you’re right, Gregg.  Certainly the factory workers aren’t happy in China.  At some places, there are nets around the perimeter of the factory building to prevent workers from jumping off the roof and killing themselves.

      These factory workers aren’t stupid - far from it.  They see all the merchandise they’re making with their own hands and they know they’re not getting wages that reflect a fair cut of the profits that their work is generating.  They’re basically being treated as subhuman by their employers.

      It’s a brave person who works their way up a pyramid in order to oppress those below who are also human beings, just like them.  God, the Creator of heaven, earth and all human beings, is infuriated by that kind of behaviour.

    • ZSRenn says:

      03:07pm | 21/01/13

      @ Andrew

      You do know Mao is dead, don’t you?

      Are you also aware that there are six parties that make up the ruling body of China not just the communists? Probably not!

      Are you aware that China is trying hard to build a middle class as they know that this is the best way to stall another peoples uprising similar to that of the farmers back in the late 40’s when the ruling democratic party was taking everything out of China to build a utopia in Taiwan. Probably not!

      Yes you are correct, Coca Cola is available and Burger King as well if that’s your fancy. I prefer Hunan food myself. All the top fashion labels are now sold in the stores. Audi,  BMW, Mercedes and VW are everywhere you go.  The poor like in AU drive used cars or Scooters as I do.

      Are you aware that they have just introduced an aged pension for the first time in China’s 5000 year history? Probably not!

      Do you know there is health care?  Probably not!

      Are you aware that new laws have just been drafted which prohibits the detention of citizens without open trial? Probably not!

      Are you aware that if the workers are not given as much overtime as possible , they go on strike? Probably not!

      Are you aware that China is worried about manufacturing moving to places like Vietnam and Sri Lanka because wages are starting to get to high. probably not!

      Are you aware that the ghost cities as described by Greg are filling fast as the middle class expands and now has cheap housing due to good planning by the government in building them. Probably not!

      Your comments regarding the 1%‘s sounds more like what is going on in the western world than China.

      Don’t get me wrong China does have its problems still, however, they are discussed everyday on TV and in social media. They have a lot of work to do. They are experimenting with a more western style of democracy in Hong Kong and Macau with free elections penciled in for 2017.  Although I can’t understand why when you look at US politics today. 

      There is still a lot of ethnic tension between the peoples of China who up until 60 years ago were at war with each other.  It doesn’t take much to light the flame when a school boy fight can cause a riot between two ethnic groups.

      The results in GDP unemployment and the growth of China speaks for itself. You really do need to come and visit.

      Now please come back soon and accuse me of being a puppet for the government and a communist. Of which, I am neither and would know that if you take the time to read my other comments on “The Punch!”

    • expat says:

      03:54pm | 21/01/13

      Andrew I am as capitalist as they come and still manage to do business with Chinese companies on a daily basis, as I said before in many way’s the country is more capitalist than many of it’s western counterparts (no I do not live in China).

    • John says:

      06:17pm | 21/01/13

      The International Banker wanted the Tzar dead, this why they hired Leon Trotsky to sicken, brainwash and polute the minds of Russians to join their take control of Russia plan. After the Trotsky got into power, the Russian people were treated as animals and 60 million were brutal wiped out by the god forsaken atheist god hating communist international banker agents. Today the international bankers that funded communism still reside in power in the west, but their death destruction policy’s are not pointed at Russia and Germany, but the Middleast.

      The International bankers have caused so much death and destruction in 20th century.

    • Steve says:

      10:09am | 21/01/13

      Any employer putting on extra staff with the Unions / Labor / Fairwork thugs in charge needs their heads read.
      Interest rates could be 0% and that wouldn’t change the anti employer pro Union IR laws.
      Under Labor it has been a bad time to be a boss, now its a bad time for everyone.

    • the phantom says:

      10:28am | 21/01/13

      get out of the wrong side of the cage today did we?
      This is the best Country in the world. We take a lot for granted. The pathetic, selfish muppett LNP groupies who whinge and complain about everything and everyone should go visit the Childrens Cancer ward then come back and tell what you have to whinge about!!

    • gof says:

      10:47am | 21/01/13

      #the phantom,
      If Abbott had his way there probably would be no Children’s Cancer Ward.
      Won’t someone please think of the Children!

    • Steve says:

      11:04am | 21/01/13

      @ simonfromlakemba
      An 80% rate says to me that 80% of cases being brought to court are baseless, wasting the employers time and resources, and encouraging said employers to think twice before hiring. THAT is the issue. If you are fearful of the potential consequences of hiring a low-life, free loading, rent-seeker, then you would rather not hire at all.

    • SAm says:

      11:09am | 21/01/13

      im not sure exactly what it was that has changed under Labor that you think is so bad..the majority of IR reforms, if not all, have been winding back Howards rediculous Workchoices changes that almost everyone agrees went too far..
      So what exactly has changed that made this a union haven country?

    • Rose says:

      11:26am | 21/01/13

      Steve, your other choice would be to take responsibly for your hiring decisions. If the employee you hired is that unsuitable for the position, you should have been able to work that out either before you hired them or during a probationary period.

    • simonfromlakemba says:

      12:08pm | 21/01/13


      They don’t go to court, mainly mediation.

      Another ‘employer’ who has no idea.

    • OverIt says:

      12:11pm | 21/01/13


      @the phantom,
      If Abbott had his way there probably would be no Children’s Cancer Ward.”

      Actually, It’s Gillard who substantially cut funding to chemo patients.

    • ZSRenn says:

      02:00pm | 21/01/13

      @ gof a quick question.

      Do you use the name to remind us, that there is competition for the title of worst Prime Minister in Australian history. I know his was spelt Gough but when i read your handle, it always reminds me of him.

    • gof says:

      02:36pm | 21/01/13

      No it is an abbreviation for gofacue NLP supporters!

    • Steve says:

      03:04pm | 21/01/13

      Pathetic, selfish, take on more responsibility…. personal attacks….
      And they wonder why employers are scared to put on full time workers…..
      Very easy to see why investment and employment is being scaled back across the country.
      Tough times ahead for this mob.

    • ZSRenn says:

      03:19pm | 21/01/13

      @ gof   I would think that would be “gfu”,  “gfyls” or “gfylnps” Oh well different strokes but it still reminds me of Gough!

    • Zack says:

      10:47am | 21/01/13

      Gillard has a million problems and no solutions, this will sit on the back burner as she and her peers from the ALP just can’t cope with it all. They will blame but they will never solve, which is why come this election the ALP will be all but finished.

    • gof says:

      11:07am | 21/01/13

      “Gillard has a million problems and no solutions”
      Hi Zack,
      Please name the 1 million problems that she has no solution to! If you can’t then don’t post your dribble in such a prestigious forum, most LNP supporters will take such incredulous statements as fact.

    • Zack says:

      11:45am | 21/01/13

      Well gof

      Just looking at the nationaltimes website

      - Gillard bungled mining tax
      - PM urged to spell out education reform
      - Welfare cuts put Gillard in hot seat
      - PNG legal threats to Gillard government

      Now anyone who follows Gillard’s political career knows she has weekly problems from Rudd to Thompson to Slipper to no surplus to carbon tax broken promises to pseudo-health care reform to unanswered questions about the AWU and her legal work for them etc

      Maybe not quite millions but more than enough to ensure the worst Australian PM and government title doesn’t get challenged for decades.

      I almost forget, just to add fuel:
      THE federal government’s proposed anti-discrimination laws leave intersex people vulnerable to discrimination, advocates say.

      This should all get interesting.

    • ramases says:

      11:50am | 21/01/13

      gof, there is not enough time or room on this blog to list all the policies that Labor has bought down that have failed as we are shut down at 2000hrs. Let us just say that its not millions as stated but of significant numbers to cause alarm bells to ring in every thinking person whenever they announce another Policy and its costings.

    • gof says:

      12:48pm | 21/01/13

      “Let us just say that its not millions as stated “
      I rest my case.
      Thank you for quantifying that NLP supporters are delusional fabricators of the truth and what they say cannot be trusted.

    • Gjack says:

      12:48pm | 21/01/13

      gof you are now in the esteem company of other Labor Twinkies such as acotrel and TChong. Study hard and get into a good uni, eeducation saves

    • JoniM says:

      12:58pm | 21/01/13


      If you want a list of the PM’s million problems, go get a copy of the Sydney White Pages !  There are a few million voters there that are her main problem ! If you get past the Nguyens, I’ll be surprised !

    • gof says:

      01:46pm | 21/01/13

      “If you get past the Nguyens”

    • ramases says:

      02:24pm | 21/01/13

      No gof, I didn’t quantify what you said as that millions was a figure of speech, something used daily by people who can think for themselves. What I did do though was quantify what Zack said, something that any normal person would have picked up but not it seems a rusted on Labor voter and you wonder why we are going slowly down the tubes, tsk, tsk.

    • JoniM says:

      02:31pm | 21/01/13

      Nice try gof !
      Nguyen is one of the most common Australian surnames and appears about halfway through the White Pages !
      My point was that your PM’s million problem voters will have been covered by that halfway point of the book!

    • Zack says:

      03:12pm | 21/01/13

      The sad thing about people who try to defend Gillard (and fail so miserably) is that they can’t attack the actual thesis of the statement and only focus on an insignificant portion of it. My point still stands, the Gillard government has too many problems (maybe even a million) but they clearly have no solutions. Bring on the election!

    • Geoff says:

      04:09pm | 21/01/13

      gof says:01:46pm | 21/01/13

      “If you get past the Nguyens”

      That is a labor winning arguement right there.
      When losing cause you have nothing label them a *insert term here*

    • wm says:

      10:49am | 21/01/13

      Steve, that is a truly pathetic whinge mate. Can’t believe you seem to be urging employers not to employ people due to some nutty conspiracy of yours that its a ‘bad time to be a boss’, even though we are the best preforming economy in the world with a low unemployment rate. If anything, IR laws need to be strengthened to stop the alarming growth of casual, insecure labor, refer:

    • Steven says:

      11:08am | 21/01/13

      The only thing that keeps labour “secure” is full employment. It is a question of demand and supply. You can have all the regulations you like, but if there is excess supply, no-one is ever going to be “secure”.

      Efforts should be focussed on making it easier for employers to hire staff, not creating more red tape for them to wade through.

    • expat says:

      11:24am | 21/01/13

      The more regulation you have, the less people are going to employ.

      If you are a small 3 or 4 person operation, you cannot afford to be taking the risk of employing anything more than casual in this business environment. A full time employee that goes bad could cost you your business, that is the reason nobody employs full time anymore.

    • ramases says:

      12:05pm | 21/01/13

      A pathetic whinge, I take it from those couple of words that you are a tried and true Union man who thinks that Unions could run these businesses better than the employers. What a laugh. The only thing Unions are good at is demanding more and more money and less and less productivity.
        I don’t know how any boss in his right mind would even consider hiring a Union man when there are people out there who would give a decent days work for a decent pay unlike most Unionists who think that the employer should deem it a privileged that they even turn up.
        When I had my business I sacked all Union members and wage earners and only employed contractors from that day forward and surprise surprise, productivity increased, time off almost disappeared and all took home more money that they would have under the award offset by the selling of more and better turned out product and fewer overheads. Now of course with the Unions having open slather the poor employer either has to put up with this crap or go broke eventually, like GMH and FORD will do in the near future. Please tell me how its financially viable to pay someone $45.00 per hour to serve coffee due to Union brokered penalty awards.

    • wm says:

      01:18pm | 21/01/13

      The numbers speak for themselves whingers. Low unemployment rates, low interest rates, best performing economy in the world, higher productivity than under workchoices, all through one of the biggest depressions in history and in spite of ‘profligate spender’ Howard blowing our good fortune on buying the electorate with socialist handouts…anyway, this doom and gloom stuff is just partisan noise from tried and true tory true believers…the only argument they have left is: “..but the economy would be even better under the LNP” lol. talk about sore losers.

    • wm says:

      01:43pm | 21/01/13

      “$45.00 per hour to serve coffee due to Union brokered penalty awards”

      How glib.

      Just a reminder of what we have because of ‘unions’:
      Annual Leave, Maternity leave, Superannuation, Equal Pay for Women, Sick leave, Long service leave, Redundancy pay.

      Do you know what a union actually is? Let me remind you, unlike the ‘bosses’ who can afford their own lawyers, lobbyists and politicians, the ordinary wage earning aussie (the vast majority of us) can’t, so we band together and chip in for a lawyer who does our bidding and lobbying. Whats wrong with that again? Refer to list above to see what this has achieved.

      Seems like you want the majority of hard working aussies to be voiceless and powerless and essentially work as slaves under ‘the man’, just because your ideology insists that unions are evil. We aren’t stupid, we experienced workchoices…apart from reducing productivity and getting Howard turfed out, what did that achieve again?

    • wm says:

      01:52pm | 21/01/13

      “When I had my business I sacked all Union members and wage earners and only employed contractors”

      ...thanks for admitting to breaking the law (refer: Fair Work Act 2009). serves as a great insight into your character…

    • ramases says:

      02:46pm | 21/01/13

      Breaking what law?? All I did was tell them their services were no longer required before this Government and its stupid laws came into effect. I offered them their jobs back as contractors and 80% took advantage and again surprise surprise they worked harder then when on wages because they realised that the harder they worked, the better quality of product the more money they made, isn’t that amazing? I also noted when I sold my business after 10 years of success the bloke that bought it took on all Union members and was bankrupt in less than a year because of the crap he had to endure from the Unions and this Government. The increasing wage demands, the decreasing productivity, the red tape and the useless workers who knew it was so hard to sack someone that they didn’t really need to put in the time and effort required to do a decent days work. Now tell me again how great Unions are?
        Did I say I expected the people to work as slave anywhere in my post, NO, but of course being a Union man you can read what isn’t there as usual. What I said and will reiterate is that people on Contract work harder and better than those protected by archaic laws that stifle the employer. Here’s a question for you, when was the last time that you heard of a wage rise for a union shop where a rise in productivity was negotiated and gained?Just a hint in case that’s too hard for your tiny brain,NEVER!
        Why was that statement of mine about the Coffee worker glib when its the truth. How many cups of coffee would that person have to sell in an hour to justify that kind of money even at the overpricing used by the proprietors on those specific days just to cover costs, which I might add they don’t.
      So before you cast aspersion on my character get your facts right because you have shown yourself to be a complete and utter Union idiot. Have a nice day.

    • wm says:

      03:11pm | 21/01/13

      “So before you cast aspersion on my character get your facts right because you have shown yourself to be a complete and utter Union idiot. Have a nice day.”

      classy. By the way, I have nothing to do with unions, and never been part of one. But I have huge respect for what they have achieved for the lowest paid and hardest working aussies, like cleaners, carers, nurses, firies, cops etc.

      “When I had my business I sacked all Union members and wage earners and only employed contractors from that day forward”

      Sounds like you sacked them because they were union members, since you gave this as the only reason for sacking them. That is an offence under the fair work act. I’m surprised, you being an employer and all, that you haven’t read the fair work act. If it weren’t for cowboys like you, there would be no need for unions…shame on you

    • Steve says:

      05:56pm | 21/01/13

      Hey wm, very easy to type anonymously on a blog.
      Why don’t you mortgage your house, or take out a loan, start a small business and put on a whole lot of full time workers.
      Then after 12 months when the probationary period runs out and the banks start calling in the loans, why dont you you write back and tell us all how easy it was.

    • Steve says:

      06:08pm | 21/01/13

      Ha, Ha, Ha. “look at what the unions have done for us”. What steal millions of dollars of members funds to spend on brothels and flash houses?
      The unions of yesterday may have been honest, the current bunch are just sleazy, wannabe Labor politicians with their fat, stubby fingers on members credit cards.

    • Tator says:

      06:33pm | 21/01/13

      obviously they were “sacked” prior to the assent of the Fair Work Act which means they were still employed under the old “workchoices”

    • Andrew says:

      11:04am | 21/01/13

      Full-time jobs are being replaced by part-time jobs - In December there was a decrease of 13,800 full-time jobs, and increase in 8,300 part-time jobs.

    • the phantom says:

      11:28am | 21/01/13

      that may be due to the aging workforce.
      Many older workers are opting for part time rather than fulltime as an option to full retirement.
      Fortunately the flexibility of The Fair Work Act allow this,

    • GigaStar says:

      12:43pm | 21/01/13

      the phantom - underemployment has also risen so moots your argument.

    • youdy beaudy says:

      11:20am | 21/01/13

      It seems to me that the computerization of the country has in the first place caused a lot of problems in the job market over the years, as computers can do the job of many people so, less employment. Makes sense to me maybe also to others, who knows.

      Another thing is that our Dollar is high next to the Greenback and that affects our exports but we have a good stable domestic market. I think that these trends have been with us over the decades under many Governments. To think that to change Government will automatically solve the situation is not necessarily true. The Liberal Government if it gets in wont save the day.

      I have always felt that we need to bring our economics more inside the country, create incentives for small business to stop the overseas manufacturing trend, and try to bring companies back into Australia. We will have to look at this at sometime because there is a lot of good quality companies operating now within the country in particular with science and technology and we also have a lot of young students leaving Universities with Degrees and really, they have to have somewhere to go and it is not a good idea to lose them to overseas nations.

      Our biggest problem is that over the years and not just the past four that the cost of Housing and Lands have risen out of proportion with the incomes where Home buyers have had to go into obscene amounts of borrowing off banks to get into a house and of course they are having trouble repaying in many cases and losing their money and houses to the unscrupulous banks. This type of thing is what has caused the international collapses of finances. We have to remember that if one is trying to service a loan of 350 thousand Dollars we will never own the property as we spend most of the money servicing the interest, but people feel that they own something when they don’t and if they can’t repay then they lose the lot. So, many people choose to rent and even the rents are inaffordable to many. All of this drives up the cost of living, food, and energy whether it is to run the car or run the house. It is silly that we have ended up this way just for people to achieve the so called fleeting Australian Dream of owning something. The Americans have lost their dream, i hope that we don’t follow them down the same path.

      We rely too much on this International stuff and it has got us into trouble. I am positive for the future of this Nation. We need to return more to internal values, arm ourselves to the teeth to protect our families because it may well be that out of all of this a war will come because warfare is a great money spinner and has been for countries like America. Australia needs to internalize more, make a plan, maybe a five or 10 year plan so we don’t end up in the same basket as the Europeans and America. I don’t know whether that makes sense to anyone but it is an idea for us anyway in a climate where new innovative ideas are lacking.

    • SAm says:

      11:38am | 21/01/13

      I like the idea of internalising, very interesting.
      Computers have undoubtably affected jobs, although there will be no going back. Who knows what the next big leap will be, but I guess all throughout modern history technology has always had an adverse affect on jobs.
      Housing I couldnt agree more with you, sinking money into the banks pockets and into the ground is not smart, never was, and can in no way benefit the economy, just those with vested interests. A crash will actually do long term good

    • K^2 says:

      02:13pm | 21/01/13

      Consider also parasitic institutions such as insurance, banking, finance none of them actually create anything, yet exist solely off what we collectively create.  These are actually the opposite of good for the economy, as they create nothing at all, except one thing - debt which is in fact an “inverted” creation or in essence destruction of the wealth in the system.  This plays out through inflation, fees, etc etc which don’t add any value what so ever, they reduce value.  Housing is directly affected by these parasitic institutions.  Jobs are directly affected.  We don’t just need a crash, we need a total restructure.  Remove the old system entirely and work with something that adds value to production.

    • John says:

      06:25pm | 21/01/13


      Your right on the ball, the entire system needs to be ripped to shreds. The majority of credit that finance’s current job’s comes from debt. Retail, Car Industry, Housing, Real-state agents, our growth is measure by a level of consuming, which is linked with how much debt is taken out.

      The entire system, is all about passing the buck, means passing the toxic assets from one fool to another. People converting fiat worthless money into hard physical assets. If you think 75% of people who have mortgages today will pay them off in 25 years, you really need to get your head checked, the the amount of debt will buckle the props and it will collapse.

      We are looking at downward momentum, that will bring down the house of cards. Someone will be forced to take a hit, the middle-class are being suckered into housing, I suspect they have suckered in, to take hits of 150k - 400k loss’s to restore the balance.

    • lostinperth says:

      11:26am | 21/01/13

      Jessica, what you have failed to mention is the large increase of people onto the Disability Pension thus removing them from the unemployment figures entirely.

      Basically anyone over 50 who can’t find a job and tells their doctor they feel depressed about it goes onto the DP. More money, no Centrelink forms and they can keep looking for work. Plus it makes the unemployment figures look better.

      The other issue, as discussed by another Punch article today, is the number of casual, part time and temporary jobs that also remove people from the unemployment figures yet do not create full time adequately paid employees. 20 hours a week work will take you off the dole, but it will never enable you to own your own house, buy a car less then 10 years old or take your kids on a trip to Bali.

      Add in those on the DP who would like work together with the “uneremployed” and the unemployment figure leaps to an estimated 10% or more.

    • Jaqui says:

      11:37am | 21/01/13

      There is something that is distinctly missing and has been highlighted before.
      When an item is imported into the country, a fair percentage of the value of that item that is labour. The item is subject to import duties.
      Why then is there no import duty on imported labor man hours (or outsourcing if you will)?
      Now considering the role of Unions you would think that they would be using their government to implement something like this so as to level the playing field with Australian workers. I guess Unions/Labor just don’t give a flying toss about the working class.

    • Gregg says:

      03:41pm | 21/01/13

      I think you might find that in most cases, Import Duties have been replaced by GST and as for a company doing overseas work which outsourcing could be included within, you probably need to look at company taxation requirements both in the country abroad and for here in Australia and any off set regulations etc. if applicable.

      There is something now called free trade as part of WTO principles and therein lies one of the planets great problems for the level playing field principle just ain’t working.
      If there was to be a level playing field, all countries ought to have identical work conditions for equivalent employees.

    • Gregg says:

      11:51am | 21/01/13

      Well it would be good to get some honest perspective on where is Australia and the so called developed western world heading Jessica.

      We can bounce all sorts of figures about all we like and rely on stuff like tourism but with declining manufacturing and international trading, where does the funding come from for all the niceties of life like the NBN, NDIS and revamping education whether it is needed or not etc.

      How about you take on a real economy challenge and investigate what it is that is needed for Australia to compete internationally, like how are we expected to compete in manufacturing with among the planets highest labour rates for instance, what does the WTO level playing fields principle really mean?
      Is it well beyond time that western leaders started to admit that it might have seemed a good idea, a long time ago!
      I think a Labour FM Gareth Andrews also once coined the same phrase.

      You might get the answers to what is continually sending Australia down a slippery path to where none of us might really want to get to and have some ideas on what sort of gravel to throw on that path to make it less slippery and even re-route it.

    • YaThinkN says:

      12:06pm | 21/01/13

      Unless you live in Queensland :( 
      Nothing to look forward to except for worse to come…

    • Anubis says:

      02:51pm | 21/01/13

      @ YaThinkN - But where would you be now if Bligh had continued into another term? How many more billions could she have wasted by now? All that money has to be paid back somehow.

    • Geronimo says:

      12:13pm | 21/01/13

      Like every single boom period in the past, pretension and the gimme gimme routine overrules common sense, history and reality. The only future for this crowd will be on display in the local Hock Shop.

    • Bho Ghan-Pryde says:

      12:20pm | 21/01/13

      Rising unemployment, increasing national debt and all this at a time when the country has the best terms of trade ever because of mining. By crikey, if they cannot get it right now they never will. I blame Tony Abbott. It is obviously all his fault and I think he caused the bush fires as well.

    • Steve says:

      06:02pm | 21/01/13

      Labor even took a swipe at Abbott when he was volunteering putting out the fires.

    • tez says:

      12:26pm | 21/01/13

      If retail is not doing well it may be because there is shop after shop of exactly the same cheep stuff, from home ware to clothing we can’t buy it all. But [and i am allowed to use but to start a sentence now] the services are doing well woman have designer finger & toe nails, weired striped and coloured hair,cosmetic tit bits, both sexes with I pesume expensive tats, dogs groomed, lawns mown, house cleaning, dining out, gambling and grog. So the money is still going around just not on stuff.

    • robbo says:

      12:35pm | 21/01/13

      With 80,000+ Single parents been moved from a pension to Newstart this month = over 10% of the current 660,000 unemployed, Will the government figures stay at around the same or go up over 720,000 next month?

    • Robert Smissen says:

      12:47pm | 21/01/13

      Of course there’s no problem, Jessica still has HER job. Jessica is an economist/journo.  I wouldn’t believe anything an economist told me, these are the clowns that didn’t see the GFC coming until AFTER it hit, funny that.

    • K^2 says:

      01:24pm | 21/01/13

      Makes more sense now, why the current government (and I think it would be this way regardless of who was in) doesn’t want to increase newstart payments doesn’t it?  I’m pretty sickened by the Australian government on both sides of the fence and also the green side.  It’s obvious when you start to look at all the pieces coming together exactly what the agenda is, and how each small piece affects the whole.  No choice, just illusion of choice.

      The banking collapse was engineered.  The “stimulus” package and current government spending were engineered to put us into debt.  This is obvious if you have a look, because it fits with the rest of the world model.  It’s all about centralisation of power now, get rid of the small local banks by sinking them (but the others are too big to fail didn’t you know), allow conglomerate hostile takeovers to happen…  Think, anything that produces money on grand scales these days is purely parasitic.  Banks, Facebook, flickr whatever else is making squillions they dont create anything at all, they just take ownership of what you create like a parasite then charge you for the privelage of you having access to your own creation! It’s pure madness, honestly, and the government knows its coming, because its been engineered.

    • Libtard says:

      03:05pm | 21/01/13

      Howard taught us to expect growth to be rampant and eternal. As it always has been through history, except for blooooody Labor!

    • Geronimo says:

      03:56pm | 21/01/13

      The Deputy Sheriff and his Posse knew how to keep the mullet on side, jumping all the way into the Bait Box. Keep it simple, very simple, tell `em the invading Russians have finally made it after wandering the South Pacific Ocean for 150 years, create the fertile image of an Indian Giver, make Costello the Town Crier, scatter the ‘tax cut’ burly all around and you’ll have `em hooked.
      Thereafter for the next three years, every synonym for ‘screw’ will go down the Gullible Gullet like Medicine-n-Jam.

    • Capt smart says:

      03:11pm | 21/01/13

      It’s so simple why don’t some of you stupid people get it!? All things good; Abbott. All things bad, but worse, catastrophic, more disaster us than ten titanic, Joooliar!!!!

    • Capt'n Obvious says:

      04:46pm | 21/01/13

      How about they are two wings of the same creature?

    • the phantom says:

      06:31pm | 21/01/13

      its not just about Aboat it is about a polictical alliance (LNP) who have no policies other than “we will stop the boats”
      When it comes to the crunch the astute men and women of Oz wiil go what da———————-This mob are full of bluff, bluster and bullshIt.
      Creit where credit is due———————The Australian economy stand alone amongst the wreckage of the world economy debacle.

    • John says:

      05:54pm | 21/01/13

      Money is a monopoly, and the international bankers control this monopoly those who print the money accumulate wealth by living off the backs off the mass’s. When you living off the backs of 1000 million westerns, you create a lot of money. The biggest profit they make is in financial collapse’s. When the collapse comes, everything people have been working for will lost and international bankers will inherit physical property because by law their money must be paided back, but keep in mind this money is just their worthless dollars printed from their printing press’s, which they pushed onto the nations of the earth.

      Yes, it seems like banks, governments are pushing for people to jump into debt, so when they crash comes, they will come in clean up the lower and middle-class’s that were suckered into debt.


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