The 4.5% unemployment figure – the lowest in Australia in 32 years – is fantastic news for working Australians. 276,000 new jobs, mostly full-time jobs were created over the past year. Was it due to the abolition of Unfair Dismissal Laws? Was it due to the mining boom or to the general investment boom sweeping through the economy?
The most reasonable answer is – a 'bit of both' though small business makes it clear they are much more prepared to take on new staff if they know they can easily get rid of them if they are not needed or don’t perform. That sounds plausible. Of course the response of the unions will be that those that do get jobs are worse off in terms of pay and conditions than they were before.
There might be an element of truth in that but the reduction in unemployment is a fantastic outcome for those who have previously been excluded from the workforce. We need real evidence but, as excess supplies of labour dry up, this should force firms to improve rather than degrade pay and conditions. I am amused that, The Age, which is so consistently biased against anything the Government does, cannot even see the possibility of higher wages as a good outcome. The fear is that it will force the RBA to increase interest rates! The Government cannot win - it wouldn’t matter what happened to wages they will be condemned in one way or another.