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10 Million Workers

If you like your statistics in round numbers, today marks another milestone. The ABS has released June numbers for the Australian workforce showing over 10 million people employed for the first time. The Unemployed rate also reached a nice round 5.0%. Itís not so long since we celebrated the population passing the 20 million milestone (on 4 December 2003 to be precise). We have added a Miscellaneous Chart of the ten million employed milestones from 1883 to 2005.

Whilst round numbers might seem like trivia, they are cause to stop and think about where life is headed. A curious paradox of Australian government policy surrounds these three round numbers. The 20 million population growth milestone was accompanied by (pre-election) increased baby bonuses and first homebuyer grants and little attention to carrying capacity of this Ďwide brown landí in the midst of drought. Now with full employment the big policy agenda is industrial relations Ďreformí. We donít yet know what this means but if itís anything like Ďtax reformí which has added more than 5000 pages to the Tax Act since 1995, we donít need it right now. This is as curious a paradox as the design of some Australian animals.

Posted Thursday, 7 July 2005

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