August 2018

July 2018

June 2018

The Dimensions of Insecure Work in Australia

by Jim Stanford

Less than half of employed Australians now hold a “standard” job: that is, a permanent full-time paid job with leave entitlements. That’s the startling finding of a new report on the growing insecurity of work published by the Centre for Future Work. Share of Workers in Full-Time Paid Employment with Leave Entitlements Source: Centre for

May 2018

A Comprehensive and Realistic Strategy for More and Better Jobs

by Jim Stanford

The Australian Council of Trade Unions has released a major policy paper outlining an ambitious, multi-faceted program to address the chronic shortage of work, and the steady erosion of job quality, in Australia.  The full paper, Jobs You Can Count On, is available on the ACTU’s website.  It contains specific proposals to stimulate much stronger

Government Spending Power Could Support Stronger Wage Growth

Australia’s state and federal governments could help solve the problem of stagnant wages by better leveraging their own spending power. New research from the Centre for Future Work at The Australia Institute demonstrates a strong connection between government spending and working conditions across the economy. “Weak labour market conditions, including record-weak wage growth, could be

Don’t blame it on the deficit: WA

A report released today by the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work shows Western Australia’s recent budget deficit is the result – not the cause – of deteriorating economic conditions. Contrary to calls for fiscal austerity and public sector downsizing, being made in response to the emergence of fiscal deficits in WA, the report showed

April 2018

Wages Crisis Has Obvious Solutions

by Jim Stanford

Mainstream economists and conservative political leaders profess “surprise” at the historically slow pace of wage growth in Australia’s labour market. They claim that wages will start growing faster soon, in response to the normal “laws of supply and demand.”  This view ignores the importance of institutional and regulatory factors in determining wages and income distribution. 

March 2018

The Difference Between Trade and ‘Free Trade’

by Jim Stanford in The Guardian

U.S. President Donald Trump’s recent trade policies (including tariffs on steel and aluminium that could affect Australian exports) have raised fears of a worldwide slide into protectionism and trade conflict.  Trump’s approach has been widely and legitimately criticised.  But his argument that many U.S. workers have been hurt by the operation of current free trade

January 2018

November 2017

Job Growth No Guarantee of Wage Growth

by Anis Chowdhury in The Sydney Morning Herald

Measured by official employment statistics, Australia’s labour market has improved in recent months: full-time employment has grown, and the official unemployment rate has fallen. But dig a little deeper, and the continuing structural weakness of the job market is more apparent. In particular, labour incomes remain unusually stagnant. In this commentary, Centre for Future Work

June 2017

Dogged manufacturing sector quietly adds 40,000 jobs

Ahead of a national manufacturing summit, a new report outlines the industry’s dogged resilience in difficult times, its importance to the Australian economy, and its more hopeful future prospects. The report, A Moment of Opportunity (download full report pdf below), identifies several indicators which suggest that the economic opportunities for domestic manufacturing have improved significantly. 

March 2017

Pain of penalty rate cuts can not be avoided through transition measures

Analysis from The Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work has shown that proposals for phasing in lower penalty rates for work on Sundays and holidays will not “protect” the workers affected by those cuts, and in some cases would make things worse. [Full report in attachement below] Simulations of various proposals from political and business

February 2017

Employers’ pyrrhic penalty rates win reflects self-defeating economics

by Jim Stanford in The Sydney Morning Herald

The Fair Work Commission unveiled its long-awaited decision on penalty rates for Sunday and holiday work this week. Penalty rates for most retail and hospitality workers will be cut, by up to 50 percentage points of the base wage. Hardest hit will be retail employees: their wages on Sundays will fall by $10 an hour

November 2016

ABCC will do nothing for housing prices: Report

As the Senate continues to debate the proposed Australian Building and Construction Commission, new research from the Centre for Future Work challenges the government’s claim that construction labour costs have pushed up Australian housing prices. Prime Minister Turnbull blamed construction workers and their union for the high cost of housing, when he re-introduced the ABCC

October 2016

Denying The Downside Of Globalization Won’t Stop Populism

by Jim Stanford in The Huffington Post

The rise of anti-globalization sentiment, including in Australia, poses a big challenge to mainstream politicians who’ve been trumpeting the virtues of free trade for decades. [This article was first published by the Huffington Post – here] Treasurer Scott Morrison recently started pushing back, delivering a staunch defense of globalization to an audience in Sydney. Like other world

August 2016

May 2016

6 Reasons to Be Skeptical of Debt-Phobia

by Jim Stanford

In the lead-up to tomorrow’s pre-election Commonwealth budget, much has been written about the need to quickly eliminate the government’s deficit, and reduce its accumulated debt.  The standard shibboleths are being liberally invoked: government must face hard truths and learn to live within its means; government must balance its budget (just like households do); debt-raters

April 2016

March 2016

October 2012

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