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The prime minister continues to try to distort youth unemployment data and duck the problem



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3io

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

205/92 24 June 1992

THE PRIME MINISTER CONTINUES TO TRY TO DISTORT YOUTH UNEMPLOYMENT DATA AND DUCK THE PROBLEM

Once again the Prime Minister showed his confusion about official unemployment statistics.

In Parliament today I pointed out that the latest unemployment figure for 15 to 19 year olds looking for full time work was over 34 per cent. He responded by saying that the number of unemployed people looking for full time work was around ten per cent of the total youth cohort - the total civilian population aged 15 to 19.

The figure I used was published by the ABS and used the standard internationally accepted definition of unemployment. The Prime Minister invented his own definition of unemployment and used a figure not published by the ABS.

If we use the Prime Minister's new definition, we find that the number of unemployed people 20 years old and over looking for full time work is 5.4 per cent, almost half as much as the

corresponding figure for youth.

Clearly, even on the Prime Minister's new artificial and

indefensible basis, young people are bearing a disproportionate part of the burden of the recession engineered by Paul Keating.

The Prime Minister should be condemned for refusing to

acknowledge this and indulging in a disgraceful attempt at disinformation.

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