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Unemployment really 1.3 million



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nw s ? n M edia R elease Leader of the Opposition

186/91 August 9, 1991

UNEMPLOYMENT REALLY 1.3 MILLION

Yesterday's official unemployment figure of 831,900 masks a real unemployment figure of well over 1 million.

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures count as empl o y e d anyone with even an hour of paid work in the previous m o n t h . This means

that people wor k i n g short-time thanks to the recession are not

recognised as part of Australia's unemployment tragedy.

Moreover, ABS figures (which are based on survey material) do not square with Commonwealth Employment Service data indicating that well over a m i l l i o n people are registered as seeking work.

In addition to the 9.8 per cent ABS unemployment figure, ABS-

derived data shows that in June (the latest figures available) a further 6.2 per cent of the workforce comprised part-time

workers who w a n t e d more work plus full-time workers on s h o r t ­

time .

As well, recent Department of Social Security figures show that up to 10 per cent of those who go off unemployment benefits go

onto sickness, invalid or special benefits.

This is the hidden unemployment which the Government wants to

i g n o r e .

Adding the 6.2 per cent of underemployed to the 9.8 per cent of

unemployed gives a truer picture of Australia's unemployment

crisis - a staggering 16 per cent or about 1.35 m i l l i o n people

who want w o r k but cannot find it.

I challenge the Government to acknowledge the real extent of

Australia's unemployment disaster and to put in place, as a

matter of the utmost urgency, policies that will ensure the long­ term job prospects of ordinary Australians.

It's true that there are no quick fixes to unemployment. But it's equally true that this Government is doing little, if anything, to build the dynamic economy wh i c h alone is the guarantee of good jobs for all who want them.

The Government is sitting on its hands while the dole queue

lengthen. Instead of the clever country, this Government is

building the soup kitchen society.

COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MSCAH

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This is a strange notion of social justice from a Labor

Government w h i c h has betrayed all its claimed ideals.

The Government which created the new rich has now spawned

millions of new poor.

It's high time Mr Hawke paid a visit to his electorate and

listened to the message of ordinary Australians w h o are either

out-of-work, wor r i e d about being out-of-work or frightened of not getting another job if they become out-of-work.

For information contact 06-2774022

tttJEMEDCfZMENT AND UNDEREMPLOYMENT, FEBRUARY 1978 TO JUNE 1991 (Continued) - 4 -

Unemployment Underenployment Combined Rate Rate(a) Rate

1990 - Jan 6.7 - 4.1 - 10.8

Feb 7.1 4.1 ' 11.1

Mar 6.5 4.2 10.7

Apr 6.3 4.2 10.5

May 6.5 4.2 10.7

Jun 6.4 4.3 10.7

Jul 6.7 4.3 11.0

Aug 7.0 4.4 11.4

Sep 7.3 4.7 12.1

Oct 7.2 4.6 11.7

Nov 7.4 5.2 12.6

Dec 8.1 5.6 13.7

1991 - Jan 9.1 5.2 14.3

Feb 9.5 5.6 15.1

Mar 9.6 5.8 15.5

Apr 9.9 5.9 15.8

May 9.5 5.3 14.8

Jun 9.0 . 6.2" 15.2

(a) Defined as part-time workers who preferred to work more hours plus full-time workers who worked less than 35 hours for economic reasons (stood down, on short-time, insufficient work), expressed as a proportion of the labour force. ,

Source: Derived frcm data in ABS publication1 'The Labour Force' (Cat.No.6203.0). '

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COMPILED AT REQUEST BY THE STATISTICS GROUP OF THE PARLIAMENTARY RESEARCH SERVICE.