The ABS unemployment methodology is no longer fit for purpose.
Sydney and Melbourne’s CBD’s are wastelands (Adelaide was bad before the virus) with hospitality and tourism on their knees, international air travel grounded and our universities are tumbleweed cities.
Tens of thousands of people have been sacked from these sectors.
Greg Jericho who writes for the left leaning, The Guardian, turned in a shocker.
Jericho – and 90 per cent of Australia’s media and academics – uncritically swallows the ABS figures that Australia’s unemployment rate is 4.9 per cent (June) and underemployment is 7.9 per cent.
I’ve quoted him below:
“On Thursday, the Bureau of Statistics announced that in June just 4.9% of the labour force was unemployed – the lowest rate since December 2010. That is undoubtedly a good thing. Less good is that the underemployment rate rose from 7.4% to 7.9%, but that is almost totally due to the snap lockdown in Victoria that saw underemployment in that state rise from 7.7% to 10.1%. Even still the current level of underutilisation in Australia of 12.8% (which counts both underemployment and unemployment) is as low as it has been for seven years.”
Much of this is cow’s excreta.
Remember, if you work one hour per week, you are counted as employed. You might be living on the street but so far as the media and government thinks, you’re doing OK.
If you dropped out of the workforce and didn’t look for a job, you’re not counted as unemployed.
If you were unemployed and didn’t fill in the monthly unemployment survey because you were sick, mentally ill or you’re poor and hostile to the government, your non-response is statistically smoothed, which means you’re not counted as unemployed.
In the USA, before Covid-19, the non-response rate to the unemployment survey was about 17 per cent. The ABS says Australia’s response rate is around 3 per cent.
Hold belly and laugh.