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Public service jobs increase by more than 22,000 as private sector employment is smashed

Despite dire predictions for Australia’s economy, one sector is in the midst of a hiring frenzy. 

More than 22,100 public service jobs have been created since the start of the coronavirus pandemic as 572,700 private sector roles have been axed.

Australia’s jobless rate of 7.5 per cent is already the highest in 22 years and the Reserve Bank is bracing for unemployment to hit ten per cent by Christmas – a level unseen since early 1994.

More the first time ever, more than one million Australians are officially unemployed, swelling the ranks of JobSeeker recipients. 

Between March 14 and August 22, the overall number of payroll jobs has dived by 4.2 per cent across all industries as Australia sunk into recession for the first time in almost three decades. 

Taxpayers have funded 22,100 new jobs since the start of the coronavirus pandemic despite the worst recession since the 1930s Great Depression. Pictured are Melbourne police tackling Rebel News personality Avi Yemini

Taxpayers have funded 22,100 new jobs since the start of the coronavirus pandemic despite the worst recession since the 1930s Great Depression. Pictured are Melbourne police tackling Rebel News personality Avi Yemini 

Government jobs classified as public administration and safety defied the downturn, with their numbers surging by 2.7 per cent in five months.

The Institute of Public Affairs, a free market think tank opposed to coronavirus lockdowns, said it was wrong for taxpayers to have funded 22,100 public sector jobs.

Research fellow Cian Hussey calculated 26 private sector jobs were lost for each one created in the public service.

‘This is a purely private sector and small business recession. Bureaucrats have never been better off,’ he said.

‘Bureaucrats and unelected health officials have not incurred any of the costs of their reckless lockdown measures, yet they decide when and how the private sector workforce can go back to work.’

The IPA described the phenomenon of public sector job numbers rising as private sector jobs disappeared as a K-shaped recession. 

The Institute of Public Affairs, a free market think tank, said 'bureaucrats have never been better off'. Pictured is Victoria's Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton

The Institute of Public Affairs, a free market think tank, said ‘bureaucrats have never been better off’. Pictured is Victoria’s Chief Health Officer Brett Sutton

‘Australia’s “K-shaped” recession shows we are living in two Australias with wealthy, protected bureaucrats who are flourishing, and those in the productive, private part of the economy who are getting smashed,’ Mr Hussey said.

Treasury’s Economic and Fiscal Update forecast the federal government’s gross debt would swell to $852billion during this financial year as a result of COVID-19 stimulus programs. 

The struggling arts sector was given $250million as part of the federal government’s JobMaker plan, before ABS figures showed a massive 14.3 per cent plunge in arts and recreational services jobs in the 22 weeks to August 22. 

Theatres were closed in late March as part of the COVID-19 shutdowns. 

Australia’s gross domestic product dived by a record seven per cent during the June quarter.

A plunge of that magnitude had not occurred since the ABS began compiling quarterly national accounts data in 1959 with the downturn rivalling the early stages of the Great Depression in the 1930s.

The IPA described the phenomenon of public sector job numbers rising as private sector jobs disappeared as a K-shaped recession

The IPA described the phenomenon of public sector job numbers rising as private sector jobs disappeared as a K-shaped recession

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