Employment and job creation were hot topics during the recent federal election. At times, the rhetoric grew so heated that you would be forgiven for thinking the economy has struggled to generate jobs. Certainly, that’s how many Australians feel. But when you take a closer look at the labour market, the picture that emerges is more complicated.
In fact, while the country’s unemployment rate has hovered around the 5.75% mark for the better part of a year, this rate is below the most recent peak of 6.3% reached last year and well below the 25-year average of 6.75%. In fact, we’re pretty close to what economists regard as “full employment,” which for Australia would be a jobless rate of around 5%.
So is this disconnect between people’s expectations and the actual unemployment numbers justified? Exactly what is driving this sense of dissatisfaction with the jobs market?
In Australia’s Labour Market: Jobs, Growth and the Future, the Indeed Hiring Lab partnered with Australian macroeconomist Justin Fabo to take a close look under the bonnet of the labour market, providing insight both into its current state and where it is headed. Here’s what we cover:
When we contrast unemployment figures with how many people want to work longer hours we discover that labour underutilization is at its highest level in 15 years. Just how might this have impacted Australians’ perceptions of the economy? We explore this in the report.
The ‘free kick’ Australian incomes received from the commodity price boom is a thing of the past. With that in mind, we look at the steps government, employers and workers alike will need to take if productivity and living standards are to continue to rise in an era of tepid global growth.
In addition, we cast a critical eye over the disruptive forces currently transforming the labour market. Just how will Australia cope with globalisation and job automation, and what skills will the employer of the future demand from the labour force?
More than ever, Australia needs to develop a highly educated and adaptable workforce. But to get there government, employers and workers are going to need to think and act strategically. How are we going to do this? Download the report for valuable insights.