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Mr Howard's one million unemployed



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TREASURER RELEASE J

V

EMBARGO

STATEMENT BY THE TREASURER, THE HON P.J. KEATING MP

MR HOWARD'S ONE MILLION UNEMPLOYED

In seeking to deny his 1 million unemployed, John Howard is once again twisting the facts available to anyone who reads my remarks in Question Time yesterday.

As I explained, my estimate of 1 million unemployed when Labor arrived in office in March 1983 included the hidden unemployed, or workers discouraged by their inability to find jobs, as well as those still actively seeking work. In fact, estimates prepared by Dr Bruce Chapman and published by the Reserve Bank late last year arrive at an even higher figure of 1,096,500 or 15.8 per cent of the workforce.

CANBERRA 15 March 1991

Proceedings of a Conference

Research Department Reserve Bank of Australia

The Labour Market 19

participation, and from there derive estimates of hidden unemployment. This allows an adjustment of the measured unemployment rate to incorporate those persons who would have been included as unemployed if they had believed that active searching for jobs would have resulted in favourable outcomes. The relevant data from this

exercise are summarised in Table 1, and the measured and adjusted unemployment rates are illustrated in Figure 10.

Table 1

Measured and Estimated Unemployment

Year Measured Unemployment (’000s)

Estimated Estimated : Hidden Unemployment Unemployment (’000s) (’000s)

Measured Unemployment Rate (%) (August)

Estimated Unemployment Rate (%)

1966 78.6 0.0 78.6 1.8 1.8

1967 86.8 25.9 112.7 1.7 2.5

1968 81.2 52.2 133.4 1.6 2.6

1969 78.9 70.3 149.2 1.5 2.8

1970 78.2 1.7 79.9 1.4 1.5

1971 92.7 10.3 103.0 1.7 1.8

1972 144.0 8.0 152.0 2.5 2.6

1973 105.7 16.5 122.2 1.8 2.0

1974 140.9 52.3 193.2 2.4 3.2

1975 278.4 72.0 350.4 4.6 5.7

1976 292.7 144.4 437.1 4.7 7.0

1977 359.3 123.4 482.7 5.7 7.6

1978 398.6 218.2 616.8 6.2 9.6

1979 377.5 308.6 686.1 5.9 10.6

1980 394.5 232.0 626.5 5.9 9.4

1981 380.6 276.8 657.4 5.6 9.7

1982 461.4 353.6 815.0 6.7 11.9

1983 686.8 409.7 1096.5 10.0 15.8

1984 604.0 410.7 1014.7 8.6 14.4

1985 572.7 375.7 948.5 7.9 13.0

1986 597.6 251.1 848.7 8.0 11.3

1987 602.1 216.1 818.2 7.8 10.6

1988 538.7 161.7 700.4 7.1 8.9

1989 469.4 0.0 469.4 5.9 5.9