Precarious work on the rise


Figures release by the Australian Bureau of Statistics confirm what ASU members have been seeing out there in your workplaces – that full-time jobs are getting harder and harder to come by. Although the labour force participation rate reached an historic high in January 2018, full-time jobs actually decreased - down 49,800 to 8,460,900. The increase was made up by an increase in part-time work - up 65,900 to 3,992,600. The data also shows that most of these new jobs are going to women, with the female participation rate reaching an historic high of 60.5%.

These figures come on the back of reports that the NDIS is responsible for a significant portion of what the federal government has been trying to claim as "jobs boom". Analysis by economists at Goldman Sachs (cited in the Australian 31 January 2018) found that of the 400,000 new jobs created in 2017 approximately 52,000 were due to the NDIS. The report goes on to say that the economists predicted that 2018 would see over 100,000 new jobs created due to the NDIS.

The ASU is concerned that this so called "jobs boom" is really only a boom in precarious work. Jobs in the NDIS are largely lower paid than those in other parts of the SACS sector, and the workforce is largely casualised or on short-term contracts. Most workers in the SACS sector are women and the ASU does not consider it a good news story when most of the new jobs in a largely female industry are precarious and low-paid jobs. But the good thing is that you can do something about this downward trend.

Make sure that you and your colleagues are ASU members and give us a call to talk about how we can help your organise and advocate for protections against insecure work in your workplace. The ASU is also part of the Change the Rules campaign and we're encouraging all our members to get involved and fight for secure jobs and fair wages.


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