After last month’s anomaly, the unemployment rate for March has increased to 5.6 per cent, up 0.2 per cent. While 36,100 jobs were lost, a falling participation rate helped soften the headline increase.
This compares to Roy Morgan’s unemployment rate of 10.8 per cent for March, down 0.1%.
Contributing to rising unemployment in the coming months will be jobs lost in the automotive manufacturing sector after Holden this week announced 500 jobs to go, the biggest round of cuts from Holden since July 2009. 400 jobs will go at the production line in Elizabeth, north of Adelaide and 100 engineering jobs from Melbourne. Many more are expected in the component supply chain, as the industry adjusts to lower volumes.
While job cuts are never pleasant at the best of times, what is angering the government and tax payers is the amount of government funding Holden has received to keep automotive manufacturing & jobs alive. Figures from Holden suggest it has received $2.17 billion dollars worth of handouts from state and federal governments over the past 12 years. Ford has received $1.1 billion, while Toyota got handouts of $1.2 billion.
The Australian reports “The cuts come barely a year after the company received a $275 million assistance package, $215m of which was from the commonwealth, $50m from the South Australian government and the remainder from Victoria. The package was intended to underwrite investment in new models and preserving manufacturing until at least 2022.”
Another industry currently getting substantial government handouts is the residential construction industry. After the predictable fate of the Automotive sector, should government’s now be questioning the fortune of spending good money after bad by propping up jobs in the construction industry? The residential construction sector is in a downturn of depths that have not been seen in decades. The reason is severe unaffordability of the product they offer. Can throwing endless buckets of money at it, fix this problem?
Small and medium business leaders, many close to insolvent, should rightly be asking – where is their bailout?
» 6202.0 – Labour Force, Australia, Mar 2013 – The Australian Bureau of Statistics, 11th April 2013.
» Holden ‘cannot guarantee jobs’ after axing 500 jobs – The Australian, 9th April 2013.
Original Article: www.whocrashedtheeconomy.com
April 11, 2013 – 8:11 pmHol