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Unemployment figures conceal as much as they reveal

Media Release
Rachel Siewert 8 Feb 2007

"Today's announcement of an unemployment figure of 4.5 percent does not give an accurate measure of the true extent of under-employment in Australia," said Senator Rachel Siewert today.

"The way these figures are calculated is inadequate and misleading," she said.

"We still have the bizarre situation where ABS defines people who work just one hour per week as employed. This gives us no indication of who is actually looking for work or struggling to get by," said Senator Siewert.

Over the last 40 years every aspect of the Australian labour market has changed - except the way it is measured.

"Its time to modernise the measures of our labour market to accurately reflect the employment status of all Western Australians," said Senator Siewert.

"The Greens do not accept that someone who works more than one hour per week can be meaningfully defined as employed," said Senator Siewert.

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