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Struggling economy needs Government focus on jobs

CTU Media Release

20 December 2012

Struggling economy needs Government focus on jobs

“The weak growth of GDP in the September quarter and a revision downwards of the June quarter confirms that the economy is struggling,” says CTU economist, Bill Rosenberg. GDP rose only 0.2 percent in the quarter and the June quarter increase was revised downwards from 0.6 percent to 0.3 percent.

“The economy is not producing enough jobs. A change of Government focus is overdue. The focus should be on creation of good jobs, not a fixation on returning the government books to surplus too quickly. Speeding to a surplus is killing jobs.”

Manufacturing fell significantly in the last three months. “A fall of 1.1 percent in just a quarter confirms that we need to have policies that support manufacturing. It produces many good jobs, and supports 1.7 jobs in the rest of the economy for each one in manufacturing. Manufacturing generates a quarter of the economy’s exports and could do much more with the right support”, says Rosenberg.

“Even the output of primary industry, which is the strongest exporter at present, fell by a huge 3.2 percent in the quarter, though growth has been strong for the year.”

“It is positive to see construction activity increase because it provides jobs in a very depressed sector, and new buildings also lead to demand for materials, appliances and other products in the rest of the economy. However there is little sign of a rebalancing of the economy towards more high value exporting”, Rosenberg said.

“A decline in business investment in plant, machinery and equipment is not a good sign for future job creation. Businesses are running down inventories rather than taking on more staff.”

Flat household expenditure reflects the hard times that many families are experiencing.

“Current Government policies with a focus on a narrow business growth agenda are not addressing the real issues and are not working. It’s time for a new look at the ‘leave it to the market’ policies the government is following”, Rosenberg concluded.

ENDS

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