The Tip of the Iceberg: Measuring unemployment in Australia

by Lilia Anderson and David Richardson

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s decisions on interest rate increases rely on the concept of balancing inflation and unemployment.

However, the official unemployment rate is based on strict and outdated definitions, and significantly underestimates the actual number of Australians looking for work. If those who are looking for work but are categorised as “not in the labour force” were included in the official unemployment rate, that rate would more than triple.

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