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The Howard Government: just starting to catch up on jobs.

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Martin Ferguson

Member for Batman


May 7, 1998




The rise in jobs recorded in April is welcome but the Government is still playing catch up on employment, with its total and full-t ime jobs growth in the 26 months since it was elected only half that in Labor’s last 26 months, Martin Ferguson, said today.


“Today’s correction is also well overdue following three months in which there was no jobs growth whatsoever,” the Shadow Minister for Employment, Training, Population and Immigration, Martin Ferguson, said today.


“The youth unemployment rate is still half a percentage point higher than when John Howard was elected, despite his election eve promise that his highest priority was to make major inroads on youth unemployment.


“The reduction in the unemployment rate since the Howard Government took office is smaller than the reduction in the participation rate in the same period, indicating that many unemployed have simply become discouraged and hidden rather than actually finding jobs.


“Let’s hope that today’s figures does not represent the calm before the storm, as the Asian crisis has yet to fully hit Australian jobs.


“Unfortunately, the DEETYA Leading Indicator of Employment figures released yesterday fell for the second month in succession, indicating that things are going to get worse, not better, in the next few months.


“The Morgan and Banks survey of yesterday also shows employers’ hiring expectations dropping off sharply, with tourism especially hard hit by the Asian crisis and starting to lay people off.


“The Howard Government’s embrace this week of Pauline Hanson will even further weaken prospects of job growth from Asian tourism,” Mr Ferguson warned.


“Meanwhile the chaos surrounding the destruction of the Commonwealth Employment Service and community employment providers will also hurt the jobless, with the prospects of the Government making up for the appalling job losses in its first two years of office being very, very remote.”


PTO Howard’s failure on Jobs - The Facts, a comparison of job figures.

Further information:  Andrew Casey, Martin Ferguson’s office 6277 4899








Labor’s last 26 months   Howard’s first 26 months



Total job s growth  549 900    235 800


Full time jobs growth  330 100    118 100


Part time jobs growth  219 700    117 700


Trend in unemployment

rate percentage   Down 2.2     Down 0.5



Election 1996    April 1998




Youth unemployment rate 26.4%     27.1%


Participation rate  63.8%     63.2%