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Friday, 11 October 1985
Page: 1094

Senator SHEIL —My question is directed to the Minister representing the Treasurer. Given the Treasurer's repeated swaggering and boasting about the supposed reduction in unemployment, will the Minister inform the Senate what proportion of the reduction of unemployment statistics in the last year has been due to increasing Public Service employment, short term employer subsidies, mickey mouse employment schemes and the cramming of educational institutions with the unemployed? Further, is it not true that by these means a crafty reduction in the unemployment statistics, but not in the real numbers of those unable to find permanent and productive work, has been engineered for the coming year?

Senator WALSH —I cannot off the top of my head recall the contribution of the various subsectors of the economy to the total employment growth in the last year of in the order of 200,000 jobs. Senator Sheil talked about unemployment rates. Unemployment rates are influenced by factors other than the level of employment, most importantly, of course, by the work force participation rate, and are less reliable for that reason. What is of fundamental inportance and perfectly clear is that in just two and a half years since the National Economic Summit cemented the accord in place almost half a million additional jobs have been created in the Australian economy. That is job creation at a faster rate even than the Fraser Government managed to destroy jobs in its last year of office under Mr Howard's economic management. The Fraser Government destroyed 186,000 jobs in 12 months. This Government has been creating jobs at about that rate since it has been in office. The more esoteric details which Senator Sheil requested are available and I will supply them to him as soon as possible.