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Morrison Government records 50 worst economic outcomes

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Cartoon by Mark David/@markdavidcartoons

The Morrison Government’s tally of economic indicators which are the “all-time weakest” or “worst decline in the developed world” keeps climbing, reports Alan Austin.

THE PROBLEMS THE Morrison Government has with mistreating women exist on many levels. Many economic outcomes which show impacts on men and women confirm female wellbeing has declined under this regime.

41. Lowest global ranking on gender gap since records began

The world has advanced impressively in recent decades in closing the gap between men and women on education, job opportunities, wages and work conditions. Only one developed economy has gone backwards badly on this measure since 2014: Australia.

Each year the World Economic Forum measures the performance of 156 countries on progress towards gender equality.

In 2009, during the worst global economic crisis since the Great Depression, Australia ranked 20th in the world and 15th in the OECD. Not brilliant, but not too bad either.

By 2015, after two years of the Abbott Coalition Government, Australia had slumped to 36th in the world and 22nd in the OECD. The ranking fell further to 39th in 2018, then down to 44th in 2020 and to an all-time low of 50th in the world in 2021. That ranks a lowly 25th in the OECD.

42. Highest number of women underutilised

According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS), the number of women either underemployed – that is, working fewer hours than needed – or with no job at all has reached fresh all-time highs several times since the Coalition came to office. This clicked over one million in 2015 and reached 1,022,000 in 2017, well before COVID-19.

The peak was a staggering 1.3 million women in April 2020, partly explained by the pandemic. The highest under any previous government was 859,400. For the entire period since Morrison has been either Treasurer or PM, the number has been well above that level (this paragraph uses raw numbers as the Treasurer uses raw numbers).

43. Pre-school education lags the world

The OECD’s 'Education at a Glance 2021', published last November, reveals Australia trailing badly on many educational metrics. While these are not technically economic, they feed directly into productivity, employment, wages and other financial outcomes.

The participation rate of Australian children in organised learning one year before the official primary school entry age ranks 39th out of 41 developed countries.

Pre-school rates OECD Jan 2022 F.jpg

44. Highest number of job vacancies on record

This dismal failure, reported last Wednesday by the ABS, has fed into other poor outcomes including lower productivity, slower economic growth, stagnant wages and reduced company profits.

This reflects abject failure in education and training over the last eight years, as most of the vacant positions could be filled by Australia’s jobless youth, who now number 245,000.

Job vacancies ABS Jan 22 Final.jpeg

This decline is only partly explained by the pandemic. The data shows a 60% increase in unfilled job vacancies from 2014 to 2019 – before Covid-19 arrived.

45. Collapse in skilled migrant arrivals

The intake of qualified professionals to Australia has now fallen for eight years straight, the worst decline on record. From a peak in 2013 of 106 skilled migrants for every 10,000 Australian workers, this ratio tumbled last year to just 57, down to almost half.

The chart below is based on data from Australian Migration Statistics 2020, updated with the latest edition of 'The Administration of the Immigration and Citizenship Programs'.

The shape of the graph from 2013 onwards shows this cannot be blamed on the pandemic.

Skilled migration Final.jpg

The collapse in skilled worker arrivals has contributed to the overall demise of Australia’s economy since 2014. It has directly impacted innovation, scientific and medical research, manufacturing output and business efficiency.

46. Global innovation ranking lowest on record

From ranking 22nd in the world on the Global Innovation Index in 2009, Australia rose to 18th in 2010 and up to 17th in 2014. A steady slide began soon thereafter. From 19th in 2016, Australia slipped to 20th in 2018, to 22nd in 2019, then 23rd in 2020 and down to the lowest ranking on record last year at 25th.

47. Lowest housing accessibility on record

Economist Peter Martin observed last month that:

'... astounding price growth and a decade of weak wages growth have pushed up the cost of an average first home deposit from 70% of income to more than 80%.'

He provided this chart to demonstrate the disastrous surge since 2017.