THE AUSTRALIAN UNEMPLOYED WORKERS UNION (AUWU) is launching its Fight4Facts campaign today highlighting what it claims is the deliberate underreporting of unemployment by the Coalition Government.
"It is one of the worst kept secret in the industry that the Australian Bureau of Statistics deliberately underreports the number of unemployed Australians", said AUWU President Owen Bennett.
"According to the ABS, someone who works only one hour a week is considered employed. It doesn't take a genius to work out that this data collection of method would underestimate the amount of Australians looking for work".
Given Australia's increasingly casualised workforce, Bennett claims that the Coalition is cynically using this shortcoming of ABS data collection to hide Australia's growing employment crisis.
In its latest release the ABS reported that there are 748,100 unemployed people in Australia. However, according to Bennett this figure is "not worth the paper it was written on as it ignores the underemployed and the hidden unemployed giving a profoundly distorted picture of the Australian labour market".
"The Coalition has presided over the largest increase in part-time employment as a proportion of the labour force ever recorded. Of the 534,000 Australians employed since the Coalition took office in 2013, more than three quarters were employed on a part-time basis – defined by the ABS as working between 1-35 hours per week. "
"If you combine the ABS data on unemployment with its data on underemployment and hidden unemployment there just under 2.8 million Australians looking for work."
"Matched against the Government data on job vacancies, there are 17 job seekers competing for every job vacancy – compared to a ratio of 4 to 1 using current ABS data on unemployment."
"As long as they are allowed to the Coalition will continue to hide behind this dodgy unemployment data, they will continue to sweep the suffering of unemployed and underemployed Australians under the rug."
"The AUWU's Fight4Facts Campaign is finally going to call the Turnbull government out on its lies and demand the government take responsibility for this employment crisis."
The AUWU has released new data provided by employment consultants that shows that 406 randomly selection job vacancies based in Melbourne received 26,977 applications – a ratio of 64 to one.
"The government has to stop covering up this employment crisis and start fixing it before it gets any worse", said Bennett.