Unemployment in 2018: What the Stats Don’t Tell You

Unemployment in 2018: What the Stats Don’t Tell You

As of January 2018, the Australian unemployment rate was at 5.5%. Which is great news but, this statistic, alone, does not show you the full picture of the current 2018 employment landscape. Not knowing the rules to the game, how can you expect to win? Let alone play?

A quick glance at the unemployment rate over the last five years, tells us that 5.5% is quite low, especially in comparison to the higher rates of 2015 (which was actually a core reason behind the founding of BC Resumes). And, a low unemployment rate is by no means a bad thing – in fact, the recent trend of a lowering unemployment rate is quite excellent. But, the unemployment rate does not tell the whole story!

Recently, the Australian economy, has been shaped by the ongoing phenomenon of casualisation. In other words, there has been a huge increase in part-time and casual employment, whilst full-time employment has decreased. In reference to the charts below, January 2018 has seen a dramatic decrease in full-time employment and in exchange, a surge in part-time employment.

Australia Full Time Employment Change

Australia Part Time Employment Change

You may wonder – what is so bad about casualisation? It provides Australians with the flexibility in their working hours and their lifestyles. Unfortunately, this is the complete opposite of the actuality of the situation. Casualisation has caused an economic issue known as ‘underemployment’ to increase significantly over the past two decades. Simply put, underemployment refers to those that are employed but desire more hours, jobs, etc. which is the case for many part-time, and some full-time, employees. Therefore, the low 5.5% unemployment rate does not give justice at all to the true nature of the current Australian economic landscape.

Underemployment Nov 1980 to Nov 2016 (ABS)

Further, casualisation has forced many, especially single parents, having to juggle between a number of jobs just to survive, or provide for their families. I believe this is the greatest issue of casualisation and the reported low unemployment rates – it comes with a promise of an easier and flexible lifestyle, but for many, this is far from the truth. Even those that are unemployed, but seeking work, may successfully find work but the full capacity of their labour productivity will usually not be utilised, as the number of part-time jobs, available, continues to increase. Thus, these underemployed persons will likely fall into the same trap as those that have to juggle between a handful of jobs just to make ends meet.

I hate to look at the 5.5% unemployment rate through a pessimistic lens, but as I stated before – if you don’t know the rules to the game, how can you expect to win? Let alone play? Personally knowing many friends and family that struggle due to casualisation, I hope this post gives some justice to their story.

Regardless, truly understanding the Australian employment landscape is what my team and I specialise in. We believe that regularly updating ourselves with this fundamental knowledge, and critically analysing what we learn, helps us to consistently produce quality work catered specifically for the Australian economy.

If you’d also like to keep up to date with all the latest Australian career and economic news, please feel free to visit our Facebook and Twitter.


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Source: Trading Economics.

Ryan Dewan

Ryan is the Co-Founder of BC Resumes and is the Head of the writing team. Ryan's intense passion for the art of the resume is the core of the entire BC Resumes organisation, as is evident through our high standards of quality, integrity, and professionalism. Ryan has had the great pleasure of personally assisting many clients achieve their career goals and dreams. If you would like to contact Ryan, please email support@bcresumes.com.au or contact us below.

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