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Unemployment figures highlight need for new data

Today's release of monthly unemployment figures highlight the need for the development of new data to enable a proper examination of the employment situation in Australia according to Australian Greens Senator Rachel Siewert.

"The figures released today point to a trend that has concerned me for some time and that is the growing level of underemployment in Australia," Senator Siewert stated.

"ABS Statistics for September point to a decrease in full-time employment of 17,200 jobs while part-time employment increased by 30,100, but there is no information about the number of people in the workforce who would like to work longer hours."

"If this sort of data was collated and added to the existing ABS data sets we would be in a much better position to assess labour market efficiency and of employees' needs and capabilities."

"In addition, this sort of information would ensure that the creation of short hour jobs would not be used to artificially lower the measured rate of unemployment in Australia."

"We need to measure employment in a way that accurately reflects the true picture and not one that makes the Government of the day look good. We need a genuine picture that can help the development of employment policies that acknowledge the reality of labour market demand," Senator Siewert concluded.

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