Million jobs not what it used to be: new report

Prime Minister Scott Morrison claims that the pace of job creation under the Coalition Government – 1.1 million net new jobs in 5 years – is an achievement, however, the actual amount of new work added in the economy has not even kept up with population growth.

New analysis of labour market performance released today by The Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work, shows Australia’s job creation performance over the past five years has been weak relative to population growth and compared to past periods of history.

“A million jobs in five years sounds like an impressive figure, but there are now over 20 million Australians of working age, and our population is growing very rapidly. A million new jobs every five years, isn’t even enough to keep up,” says Dr. Jim Stanford, Director of the Australia Institute’s Centre for Future Work.

“A closer look at the evidence shows that both the quantity and the quality of work being created in Australia’s labour market is inadequate to the needs of our growing population, and highlights the role part-time work has played in inflating the apparent total number of jobs created.

“Part-time employment has accounted for almost half of all new work created since 2013. Without the this rapid expansion of part-time work, which converts a given amount of hours of work into more jobs, the growth in employment would have fallen well below one million.

“Due to soaring part-time employment, the number of hours worked by each worker has fallen to the lowest on record. Part-time workers also experience lower hourly wages, higher casualisation, and are more dependent on the minimum conditions of modern awards.

“Along with the declining quality of jobs, our research shows an unprecedented stagnation of wages since 2013. With nominal pay lagging behind inflation, the real purchasing power of Australian works has declined for the first time since the recession-wracked 1990s.

“This deterioration occurred in a time when the economy was growing steadily.  Instead of constituting some kind of economic triumph, the last five years really represents a lost economic opportunity.”

The full report, “What’s a Million, Anyway? Australia’s 2013-18 Job Creation in Historical Perspective,” by Jim Stanford, Troy Henderson and Matt Grudnoff, is available at: https://www.futurework.org.au/what_s_in_a_million_anyway.

Related research

Media Enquiries

Anna Chang Communications Director

0422 775 161

anna@australiainstitute.org.au