December 2022

November 2022

October 2022

September 2022

June 2022

Profits push up prices too, so why is the RBA governor only talking about wages?

by Jim Stanford in The Conversation

Reserve Bank of Australia governor Phillip Lowe has invoked memories of the 1970s, warning wage growth must be restrained to contain Australia’s surging inflation. In the 1970s, Lowe said last week, “we got into trouble because wages growth responded mechanically to the higher inflation rate”. Now, with inflation above 5%, and tipped to reach 7% by the

May 2022

April 2022

February 2022

Power, Not Just Supply and Demand, Vital to Future Wage Growth

by Jim Stanford in The Conversation

Australia’s unemployment rate declined to 4.2% in December, and it could fall further (below 4%) in the coming year, barring further waves of COVID or other global shocks. This has some forecasters predicting a quick acceleration in wage growth — which has been stuck for almost a decade now at the slowest pace in Australia’s postwar history.

January 2022

Summer Series – Australia’s growing wages crisis with Sally McManus [webinar]

featuring Ebony Bennett and Jim Stanford

Our summer podcast series brings you some of the best conversations from our webinars in 2021. A fair day’s pay for a fair day’s work was an essential element of the promise of Australia. The last 30 years have seen a dramatic shift of the share of Australia’s prosperity going to profit and away from

Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory: Labour Market Implications of Australia’s Failed COVID Strategy

by Jim Stanford

As COVID and recession gripped the world, through 2020 and most of 2021 Australia recorded one of the best outcomes: lower infection, fewer deaths, and a faster, stronger economic recovery. That seeming victory has been squandered, however by the appalling and infuriating events of recent weeks. Purportedly in the name of ‘protecting the economy’, key political leaders (led by the Commonwealth and NSW governments) threw the doors open to the virus at exactly the wrong time: just as the super-infectious Omicron variant was taking hold.

September 2021

June 2021

Video: Myth & Reality About Technology, Skills & Jobs

by Jim Stanford

We are constantly told that the world of work is being turned upside down by ‘technology’: some faceless, anonymous, uncontrollable force that is somehow beyond human control. There’s no point resisting this exogenous, omnipresent force. The best thing to do is get with the program… and learn how to program! Acquiring the right skills (usually assumed to be STEM or computer skills) is the best way to protect yourself in this brave new high-tech future.

January 2021

Yes, lockdowns mean lost jobs. But data shows that not locking down causes much more economic damage

by Jim Stanford in Toronto Star

With new stay-at-home orders covering many parts of the province, Ontarians are settling in for a month (at least) of daunting isolation. Restrictions are also being tightened in other provinces to slow the spread of COVID-19, until vaccines can turn the tide of the pandemic. Despite accelerating infection and overflowing hospitals, many oppose the new restrictions on

December 2020

Profile: Combining Economics and Social Justice

by Jim Stanford

The Centre for Future Work’s Director Dr. Jim Stanford was recently profiled in a feature article published in In The Black, the journal of CPA Australia (the professional body for certified accountants in Australia). The profile, by journalist Johanna Leggatt, discusses the history of the Centre for Future Work, and Stanford’s philosophy of using popular economic knowledge to strengthen movements for social change and workers’ rights.

Porter IR Bill a Wish List for Business

by Jim Stanford in The Conversation

Industrial Relations Minister Christian Porter tabled an omnibus bill on 9 December containing multiple amendments to Australia’s labour laws, including the Fair Work Act. In theory, the bill is the outcome of a series of IR reform discussions the government launched during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic. At the time it heralded a new spirt of cooperation between business, unions, and the government — but that spirit didn’t last long. The bill accepts numerous business demands that will further liberalise casual work, undermine genuine collective bargaining, and generally suppress wages even more than they already are.

October 2020

Austerity Would Damage Queensland’s Economic and Social Recovery

by Dan Nahum and Jim Stanford in Medium

by Dan Nahum & Jim Stanford[Originally published via Medium, 26 Oct 2020] Like governments around the world, the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting recession knocked a huge hole in Queensland’s state budget. Big losses in revenues from the recession, combined with extra costs of fighting the pandemic, turned a planned $234 million operating surplus for this

Budget’s Illusory Hope for Business-Led Recovery

by Jim Stanford

The Commonwealth government tabled its 2020-21 budget on 6 October, six months later than the usual timing because of the dramatic events associated with the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting recession. There is no doubt it is a budget unlike any other in Australia’s postwar history. While the budget certainly unleashes unprecedented fiscal power, its underlying logic and specific policy design are unsatisfactory in many ways. We present here analysis and commentary on several aspects of the budget, drawing on input from all of the Centre’s research staff: Economist and Director Dr. Jim Stanford, Senior Economist Alison Pennington, and Economist Dan Nahum.

July 2020

Winning a Fair Share: Rebuilding Australia’s Manufacturing Base | Paul Bastian & Jim Stanford

featuring Ebony Bennett and Jim Stanford

As the pandemic interrupted global supply chains a lot of focus has shifted back onto Australia’s domestic manufacturing capabilities and what Australia has the capacity to make and manufacture onshore and research shows we’re lagging behind. In this episode we talk about the opportunities for manufacturing and why it’s vital to the economic success of

June 2020

Protecting workers as the Economy Re-Opens with Sally McManus

featuring Ebony Bennett and Jim Stanford

The pandemic exposed a lot of the problems with our labour market, including the risks of the rise of precarious and insecure work. Today we’re bringing you another guest from our ‘Economics of a Pandemic’ webinar series: Sally McManus, Secretary of the Australian Council of Trade Unions in conversation with Jim Stanford, economist and director

May 2020

A renewably powered manufacturing sector with Ross Garnaut

featuring Ebony Bennett, Dan Nahum and Jim Stanford

Today’s episode is from one of our ‘Economics of a pandemic’ webinar series, featuring Professor Ross Garnaut, renowned economist and author of Superpower: Australia’s Low-Carbon Opportunity.Professor Garnaut was in conversation with economist and director of the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work, Jim Stanford, and Dan Nahum – economist at the Centre for Future Work

April 2020

March 2020

Responding to the Economic Emergency

by Jim Stanford in New Matilda

The scale and scope of the economic downturn caused by COVID-19 will be unprecedented in our lifetimes. Mainstream economists have belatedly realised the pandemic will cause an economic downturn, but they are not yet appreciating the size of that downturn, nor the unconventional responses that will be required. Simply calling for government “stimulus” is sadly inadequate, given the complete shut-down of work and production that is occurring in many sectors of the economy. The task is no longer supporting markets with incremental “pump-priming.” What’s needed is a war-like effort, led by government, to mobilise every possible resource to protect Australians’ health and livelihoods. Money is not an object – and this epic effort should not be held back by normal acquiescence to private-sector priorities and decisions.

February 2020

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