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Labor's record will be measured by the lasting gain in unemployment



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John Hewson Leader of the Opposition M e d i a R e l e a s e

41/91 20 February 1991

LABOR'S RECORD WILL BE MEASURED BY THE LASTING GAIN IN UNEMPLOYMENT

Even as the economy slips further into recession - the worst since the Second World War - the Prime Minister and the Treasurer still boast about creating 1.6 million jobs.

The cost per job created runs into many billions of dollars of foreign debt - about $70,000 per job - that's at a cost of more than twice the average earnings per job.

But over 110,000 of those jobs have already been lost since July last year.

And while Mr Keating and his advisers proclaim a recovery in the second half of the year, further job losses are in the pipeline.

Moreover, the economy is going to carry the debt legacy resulting from Labor's period of profligate management through the decade as it battles to meet annual property payments abroad of close to 4.5 percent of national production.

Messrs Hawke and Keating have ridden an unprecedented period of international economic growth, an international asset price boom and strongly favourable capital flows.

Their easy domestic credit policies created an asset boom and sucked employees and investment into the non-traded goods sector - into finance and property, into retailing and wholesaling, into community amenities (largely government) and other areas (see chart attached) which do little to help service the external debt that was being created.

It was "a wonderful party" but the good times have come to an end and the party goers are now disgruntled, hurt, and hung over.

Their pain is not helped by the blatant indifference of the men who gave them the "recession they had to have."

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT 06 277 4022

COMMONWEALTH PARLIAMENTARY LIBRARY MICAH

EMPLOYMENT GROWTH 1983 TO 1989

FINANCE/PROPERTY 19.3

COMMUNITY SERVICES 20.8

WHOLESALE/RETAIL 22.9

CONSTRUCTION 11.8

OTHER 6

TRANSPORT ETC 3.3

MANUFACTURING 5.6

R ECREATI ON/PERSONAL 10.3

1.662 MILLION PERSONS APR 83/OCT 89