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Thursday, 9 December 1976

Dr Klugman asked the Treasurer, upon notice:

(1)   Do figures released by the Austraiian Bureau of Statistics show that the Australian civilian population aged 15 and over increased by 103 000 to 9 888 300 between November 1975 and August 1976.

(2)   Has the number of persons employed decreased by 5 1 500 during the same period.

(3)   If the position is as stated, does this indicate that unemployment is becoming an even greater problem than suggested in the figures released by the Commonwealth Employment Service.

Mr Lynch - The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   Yes.

(2)   The Australian Bureau of Statistics publishes 2 estimates of employment. One, derived from the Bureau's quarterly population survey, is an estimate of total employment including employed persons other than wage and salary earners. This shows a decrease, in seasonally unadjusted terms, of 51 000 from November 1975 to August 1976. The other, covering wage and salary earners (in civilian employment), is derived from payroll tax returns and direct returns from government authorities. It shows that total civilian employment declined 12 500 in seasonally unadjusted terms between November 1975. and August 1976 (it increased 15 500 in seasonally adjusted terms).

(3)   The population survey-based estimates show the following variation from November 1 975 to August 1 976:


Over the same period the number of persons registered for employment with the Commonwealth Employment Service increased by 2300. As explained in the October Round-Up of Economic Statistics, this latter figure is not the same in concept as the unemployment figure shown above. That qualification aside, the estimates in fact imply the opposite to le suggestion in the honourable member's question.

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