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Thursday, 19 February 1987
Page: 269


Senator BUTTON —At Question Time on 27 November, Senator Newman asked me a question about jobs created since this Government came to office. On re-reading the Hansard I think I gave an excellent answer to Senator Newman's question, but I undertook to check some figures and to provide any additional information available. I have that additional information and seek leave for it to be incorporated in Hansard.

Leave granted.

The answer read as follows-

The figure of 671,000 jobs created quoted by Rydges is employment growth from May 1983 to May 1986 according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) Labour Force Survey but without any adjustment for a change to the definition of employment introduced as from April 1986. The adjustment results in growth of 646,000 over the period in question. I understand that the figure of 205,000 for ``Government sector'' jobs created over the same period relates to total employment growth in public sector dominated industries (electricity, gas and water, communication, public administration and defence and community services). This figure, however, includes both private and public sector jobs created in these industries. Private sector jobs have constituted a substantial component of new jobs in the community services industry in particular. A more accurate measure of public sector employment growth is available from the ABS Employed Wage and Salary Earners series, which has a different coverage and methodology to the Labour Force Survey. This survey shows an increase in public sector employment over the three years to May 1986 of 104,500. Although, as pointed out, the two series are not completely comparable, the available data imply that the proportion of job growth over the period accounted for by the public sector was around 16 per cent. I would add that since the Economic Summit in April 1983 up to December 1986 total employment growth (Labour Force Survey, seasonally adjusted) has been 708,800.