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Victoria to hit Andrews government 100,000 full-time jobs target

Victoria is at the centre of a national jobs boom, with the Andrews government on the cusp of hitting a target to create 100,000 full-time positions in its first two years.
Nanjing Night Net

In June this year, full-time employment in Victoria hit 2,066,695, up from 1,968,022 in December 2014.

Although the Bureau of Statistics estimate of employment is notoriously volatile, the increase over the 19 months to June 2016 of 98,673 technically leaves Victoria just 1327 full-time jobs short of hitting its target, with five months left.

The 5 per cent increase since December 2014 was also the strongest rate of full-time jobs growth in the nation, with full time work up 4.2 per cent in NSW over the same period, flat in Queensland and down by 3.8 per cent in Western Australia.

Labor’s promise to create 100,000 full-time position, announced in the lead up to the November 2014 state election, was underpinned by a $100 million Back To Work fund, offering generous incentives for businesses hiring disadvantaged workers.

The contribution of the fund to the employment boom remains unclear. Last month, the government announced that it was “fully subscribed” and would close with almost 16,000 payments made to employers taking on disadvantaged jobs seekers since it was introduced in April 2015.

When measured from November 2014, which was the Napthine government’s final month before the November 27 state election, Victoria’s job creation record has been even more impressive.

Under that measure, full-time employment in Victoria has increased by 111,500, or 5.7 per cent, compared with a 4.8 per cent gain in NSW.

Treasurer Tim Pallas leapt on the figures as evidence that the government’s economic strategy had been working, saying there had been more jobs created since Labor came to power than the previous government managed over four years.

“We promised we’d create 100,000 full time jobs in two years – and in the 12 months to June 2016 alone, we created more than 112,000 new full-time jobs,” Mr Pallas said.

But some have questioned whether the bureau’s notoriously volatile figures are believable.

“The underlying softness in the labour market that we have highlighted for some time continues to linger behind the benign June outcome. Hours worked fell again in the month (-0.3 peer cent MoM, 0.6 per cent YoY), despite the rise in the number of jobs and the switch from full-time to part-time employment in the month. Trend employment growth remains very weak, and has slowed. And the trend in hours worked in the economy has been falling for six months.”

Macquarie Securities analyst James McIntyre  said he believed underlying softness in jobs market had been lingering behind the headline employment figures, with hours worked down during the month

“The trend in hours worked in the economy has been falling for 6 months,” Mr McIntyre said in a recent report.

Shadow Treasurer Michael O’Brien said Labor’s back to work scheme had been a failure at generating jobs.

“That failure has been recognised by the government closing it down a year early and the fact that so much has been spent for so little return,” Mr O’Brien said. “Full-time jobs growth over the last couple of months has led economists  to question the reliability of the data and we’ll see over the next few months whether the so-called jobs growth is illusory or real.”

This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.

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