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Australian labour market – tepid performance in November

Today’s Australian Bureau of Statistics release of its latest data – Labour Force, Australia, November 2019 – confirms, as if we need confirmation, that the Australian economy is in a weak state with a very tepid labour market performance being recorded for November 2020. The culprit – the Australian government – which is starving spending by its obsessive pursuit of a fiscal surplus. Employment growth was positive this month but almost all of it was part-time. Unemployment fell slightly The broad labour underutilisation (unemployment plus underemployment) is at 13.5 per cent and has been stuck around that level for months. There is no dynamic – policy or otherwise – present, which will see this massive pool of available labour brought back into productive use anytime soon. That alone, is a indictment of failed policy. The unemployment rate is 0.7 percentage points above what even the central bank considers to the level where inflationary pressures might be sourced from the labour market. The Government is thus deliberately inducing deflationary tendencies into the economy and it is the workers that are bearing the brunt. My overall assessment is that the Australian labour market remains a considerable distance from full employment. This persistence in labour wastage indicates that the policy settings are too tight (biased to austerity) and deliberately reducing growth and income generation. There is clear room for some serious fiscal policy expansion at present. The Federal government is willfully undermining our economy with its irresponsible policy position.

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