I know I haven't posted in a while but I have been busy and not much has piqued my interest or pissed me off enough to write about it. Today, that changed with the release of the March unemployment figures.
West leads jobs boom
AUSTRALIA'S jobless rate fell to a seasonally adjusted 4.5 per cent in March to a 30-year low and plunged to just 2.7 per cent in Western Australia, reflecting the commodities boom.
The unemployment rate dropped from 4.6 per cent in February, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said today.
Total employment rose 10,500 to 10.370 million, seasonally adjusted, while full-time employment rose by 31,700 to 7.4 million and part-time employment fell 21,200 to 2.9 million.
The report follows a long run of data that suggests last year's three interest rates have not dampened activity in the economy, leaving open the risk of renewed inflationary wages and price pressures.
Of course, I expected a gloating Little Johnny to appear soon and sprout how this was all his doing and he is mankind's saviour. I wasn't disappointed.
From The Age:
PM: WorkChoices driving jobs boom
Prime Minister John Howard says the contentious WorkChoices legislation - and the rewriting of unfair dismissal laws in particular - is responsible for today's record unemployment rate.
Speaking in Canberra, Mr Howard said that, 12 months after its introduction, there was "no doubt in my mind" that WorkChoices was driving employment.
"I do believe after a year, and in a year in which 276,000 new jobs have been created, it is reasonable to assert that one of the contributions made to this spectacular growth in employment has been the removal of the unfair dismissal provisions under WorkChoices,'' Mr Howard said.
"I think the unfair dismissal laws have made the single greatest contribution to reducing unemployment."
What a load of bullshit. Howard must be getting mighty dizzy with the amount of spinning he is doing.
Australia's economy is driven by primary industry and the resources sector. At a time when China is consuming resources at a rate that could not have been predicted 10 years ago and resource prices are at extremely elevated levels, it is kind of obvious that the Australian economy is receiving a huge boost right now. If anyone has been looking for new staff in the last 12 months, you know that the main problem is finding people with the skills you want. Especially here in Western Australia where it seems every man and his dog are heading off to work in a mining related area.
Employers are not thinking about how they can sack people at the end of the boom, as there is no real indication of when the boom will end. Employers are concentrating on securing the work now. The old saying of 'making hay while the sun shines' is particularly apt in the current boom.
The WorkChoices issues seems to be worrying only 2 groups of people, politicians and union reps. One group sees it as a way of helping out some mates in the private sector and the others see it as a threat to their cushioned and undeserved privileged existence. To the rest of us, WorkChoices doesn't seem to rate too highly, expecially those not in an award situation.
Of course, the mainstream media will jump all over this story like a sugar-starved kid at Easter and spread this FUD to the uneducated masses that make up the voting public. What I hope will happen is that it will be duly ignored and the arse-licker will still get booted at the fedaral election later this year.
While Kevin Rudd isn't the most ideal person you want as PM, a major reshuffle of the political landscape in Australia is needed for a short while to bring back some sanity. Kinda like pressing the reset button on your computer, only it will take 4 years to reboot. I just hope that it boots back to a stable configuration, just without the little bits of malware floating about.
I went looking for the real definition of spin in terms of political massaging of a message and found the following:
4. a. To relate or create: spun tales for the children.
7. To provide an interpretation of (a statement or event, for example), especially in a way meant to sway public opinion: "a messenger who spins bogus research into a vile theology of hatred" William A. Henry III.
5. The flight condition of an aircraft in a nose-down, spiraling, stalled descent.
Two of the definitions apply to what the Howard government perform, and the third applies to what is going to happen later this year to the Howard Government, hopefully ending in a very large and destructive impact with the ground.