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Slump in ANZ job ads



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Peter Reith

DEPUTY LEADER of the OPPOSITION PRESS RELEASE SHADOW TREASURER

STATEMENT BY THE ACTING LEADER OF THE OPPOSITION

5 January 1992

SLUMP IN ANZ JOB ADS

The fall in the December ANZ Job Ads is a disappointing start to 1992 and underlines the urgent need for major economic reform as the Prime Minister chairs his first major Cabinet meeting for 1992.

The Series fell 5.7 per cent in December 1991. It was the second worst figures out of the last 10 and the Series is now 30 per

cent lower than December 1990. There was an average of 11,777 ads per week in December 1991 compared to the weekly average for 1988-89 of 39,360. Based on the percentage change over the quarter (seasonally adjusted) the Series has dropped further in each of the last 5 months of 1991, providing the final dismissal of Labor's claims of economic recovery.

In the last two recessions, the ANZ series picked up before any improvement in GDP. On this basis, the trend in the ANZ Series is very disturbing. It is not surprising that the ANZ is tipping that the unemployment rate will climb towards 11 per cent.

One of the essential pre-requisites of the Economic Reform Policy that the Prime Minister should announce as soon as possible, is a realistic assessment of the Australian economy.

Mr Keating's record in predicting the course of the Australian economy has no equal. In August 1990 he predicted for 1990/91:

"This year inflation will fall further, the current account deficit will markedly improve and employment will pick up. In short, the kind of outcome the Government was seeking, delivered without the misery and despair of high

unemployment and a savage recession".

(Budget Speech, August 1990)

The Treasury has apparently recently revised its assessment of the Labor market. It should now reassess its figures based on this latest ANZ data and the Prime Minister should try being honest with the Australian public about job prospects in 1992.

Contact: 059\777 212

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