Australia has always been a country I have followed with interest. I had Australian teachers in grade school who were among my favorites and my primary school principal was a kind and wise Australian from Tasmania. I also have some distant cousins in Australia. So I am pleased to see that despite suffering an initial slowdown after the crash and being vulnerable to a slowdown in the Chinese economy Australia is doing significantly better when it comes to unemployment.
These rates are reported in today’s Melbourne Age and they suggest an economy thats doing much better than either western Europe with the exception of Germany, Austria, Luxembourg and the Netherlands and also better than Canada or the U.S. Part of the explanation is undoubtedly due to the proximity to Asia but there may well be other policy aspects involved which ought to be studied. The chart below courtesy of the Australian Bureau of Statistics shows unemployment performance since February 2002 which shows that even after the crash and global spike in unemployment the rate peaked for males at just over 6 % and for females at about 5.5 %. from their previous lows of around 4 % for men and 4.5% for women in 2008. So despite the rise in unemployment and the shock of the crash and also the rise in underemployment, the broader measure of underutilization of labour including headline unemployment is about 12 %, Australia seems to have recovered better than many other countries in the G20
UNEMPLOYMENT RATE: TREND SERIES