Tasmanian Times

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. No price is too high for the privilege of owning yourself. ~ Friedrich Nietzsche


NATION: There are Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) produces a monthly set of unemployment figures based on an internationally sanctioned definition of unemployment.

To qualify as unemployed:

~ You must not be in employment

~ You cannot have done one hour of paid or unpaid work in the month prior to the survey

~ you must have applied for a job in the previous month

~ You must be able to start work immediately

This constriction of the rules of fair play reduces the number of unemployed people in need of the Liberal mantra “Jobs and Growth”.

An unemployment rate of 5.8% — the ABS figure for March 2015 — would be considered by many as nearly Full Employment.

Anybody with children who have left school and who are trying to get a job will know that this is more than a Damned Lie, it is an ABN Statistic.

Gary Morgan, the well-known owner of the Melbourne-based Roy Morgan Research has been a friend of mine for more than 30 years. An independent free spirit Gary should be commended for — against the wishes of the Establishment — he has been conducting a proper statistical enquiry on a monthly basis into real Australian unemployment since 2001.

The political minefield, the true figures over the unemployed, is controlled by the ABS. This allows all our pollies an exemption from being blown up by the reality of life outside their ivory tower by lowering unemployment figures to nearly full employment.

Pollies of all persuasions sleep at night tucked up under the blanket of the adjusted figures from the ABS.

Roy Morgan Research asks:

~ Are you now in paid employment?

~ If no, are you self–employed or a consultant?

~ If yes, do you work full time or part time?

~ If still no, are you looking for a paid job?

~ If so is this a fulltime job for 35 hrs a week-plus or a part-time job?

~ If in part-time employment are you looking for a full-time job or additional hours?

The Roy Morgan figures show:

• 2,433,000 Australians to be unemployed or under-employed; a massive 18.8% of the workforce — up 89,000 from March 2015.

• 1,422,000 people are unemployed — up 54,000 since March 2015.

The February unemployment rate rose 1% to 11% — its highest since Feb 2015. It is the first time unemployment has risen in February for over a decade.

Morgan shows that “Jobs and Growth“ under a Liberal Government is just as much a fallacy as their ability to reduce debt — which has increased nearly 50% since they came to power.

What say you Abetz and Nikolic?

Why should we vote for you and not Scruffy?

Please tell me why where I am wrong.

Scruffy is fretting over her dog biscuits at breakfast. She is not feeling secure in her current employment guarding the Empire and needs that plum job in the Senate.

A job which requires no interview, no qualifications, you can be elected illegally, keep the money and — further — you can retire if defeated on a pension of $6000 a week.

Now that is a mind-bending statistic which is causing her to howl in anticipation of the best fillet of beef for life and no more tins of PAL.

The columns of Tasmanian Times await your accurate reasoned reply.

Download here Roy Morgan’s Australian Unemployment Estimates for March 2016:




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  1. phill Parsons

    June 2, 2016 at 1:12 pm

    Already Europe is looking beyond employment. With robots coming to replace repetitive tasks what becomes of jobs involving that type of work.

    Studies show a 25 to 30 hour working week to be the most beneficial to health. Already rich countries will not become poorer by through robots doing work.

    Europe’s solution seems to be a guaranteed minimum income. For a consumer society this must be more than just basic consumption.

    Managing the incentive to work in a transitional phase from now to robots will present both problems and opportunities.

    Giving meaning to life will be another problem as many peoples reason for being is around their work, women being advantaged in that their traditional role is task rich and never completed. Here is an opportunity men are just learning about.

    As a society we have to move beyond seeing people as labour units that must be employed in combination with capital, as this phase is ending.

  2. TGC

    June 2, 2016 at 12:55 am

    The contributions from Scruffy – even from Scruffy’s master are always valued.

  3. Kim Peart

    June 1, 2016 at 5:45 pm

    Jean-Paul Gagnon writes in The Conversation ~ “Just imagine if all Australians were given $A1,600 per month untaxed (equivalent to around $A20,800 per annum) to keep us above what ACOSS defines as the poverty line. Not only would this ensure that Australians can meet their basic needs, even if they lose their jobs, it would lift approximately 2.55 million Australians out of poverty.”

    As we head into a future where half of current paid work will be done by robots and automation directed by AIs, we need a radical new approach to income to avoid a society with increased and entrenched under-employment, unemployment, poverty, homelessness and the health costs directly caused by the delivery of misery.

  4. Kim Peart

    June 1, 2016 at 5:29 pm

    Is a universal basic income the way to go ~

    Is that what Bob Hawke had in mind when he looked to no child living in poverty by 1990?

    It is a tragedy for all Australian children trapped in poverty, sometimes sleeping rough on the street, that there is so little debate on how we build a society without poverty.

  5. Basil Fitch

    May 31, 2016 at 3:31 pm

    Morgan Poll now showing “too close to call” result although taken before the ‘Leaders Debate’ Sunday evening. Some commentators calling that a ‘snooze-fest’. Extract from Poll……

    “In late May the ALP 51% (down 1.5%) holds a narrow lead over the L-NP 49% (up 1.5%) on a two-party preferred basis, before last night’s major party leader’s debate.

    If a Federal Election were held now the Election would be too close to call.

    Primary support for the L-NP is 37.5% (up 1%) with ALP at 32.5% (down 0.5%). Support for the Greens is down 2.5% to 13%, Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) 5% (unchanged), Katter’s Australian Party is 1% (up 0.5%), Palmer United Party is 0% (unchanged) and Independents/ Others are at 11% (up 1.5%).

    South Australia Voting Intention – NXT now outpolling the ALP

    In South Australia the rise of the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) means several seats are likely to be three-way contests between the Liberals (31%), NXT (26.5%) and the ALP (25%) with support for the Greens (8.5%) and Independent/ Others (9%). In South Australia a total of 44% (up 2.5%) of electors now support a minor party rather than the Liberals or ALP.
    The massive vote for minority parties (30%) Australia-wide suggests that today they would definitely control the Senate. In addition the Greens and the Nick Xenophon Team (NXT) could also control the House of Representatives.

    This week’s Morgan Poll on Federal voting intention was conducted over the last two weekends, May 21/22 & 28/29, 2016, with an Australia-wide cross-section of 3,099 Australian electors.

    The L-NP now holds a two-party preferred lead in two Australian States. The L-NP leads in New South Wales: L-NP 53.5% cf. ALP 46.5% and Queensland: LNP 52% cf. ALP 48%. The ALP leads in Tasmania: ALP 63% cf. L-NP 37%, Victoria: ALP 57.5% cf. L-NP 42.5%, South Australia: ALP 51% cf. L-NP 49% and narrowly leads in Western Australia: ALP 50.5% cf. L-NP 49.5%.”

    Interesting the 30% lean to NXT and Others. Basil

  6. Chris

    May 31, 2016 at 1:15 pm

    Good to hear the warning that Ex Err Fon will back the Turn Cow NBN copper Government, that should cure all our ills as he does not like the NBN and the American inspired TPPs????
    Heres a CV worth reading specially the last comments.
    True or false.

  7. john hayward

    May 31, 2016 at 12:59 am

    The ABS is reportedly overseen by a secretary called Humpty Dumpty. In addition to designating a paid hour a month as employment, he also deems a refugee to be an asylum seeker who has come by plane.

    Federal Parliament has been found to have 94% employment, nearly all in fabrication.

    John Hayward

  8. Kim Peart

    May 30, 2016 at 8:32 pm

    I’ve wondered if all concerned would like to get together to explore how we could shift the gears to real work with real pay for all able workers.

    Or should we have a living income for all?

    Has this challenge gone unheard?

    I have reached out to many, but the sound of silence echoes in the canyon of this debate.

    Left wondering if the problem is wanted more than creating work, or delivering a living income, where vested interests get paid to manage the problem, not to solve it.

    Will anyone prove me wrong?

    Is anyone really interested?

    Kim Peart

  9. Jack Lumber

    May 30, 2016 at 7:42 pm

    John as much as i share your lack or respect for ERICA , your comments re statistics are just a case of “numeric catharsis ‘ . Every model is just that a model , every survey is that a sample, every statistic has limits, assumptions, confidence intervals .

    Do you think the punters do not know this?

    Via FB , TV we vote for inane questions and get a variant of infotainment and have snazzy graphs which make even more “credible “.

    I look forward to all those senators (of all parties) finally facing the masses rather than a landing by some arcane default system .

    So John, let it go and if Erica and Andrew return then the people have spoken. I have to do the same and also again when people like McKim get re-elected and his contribution to Tasmania has been well a case study in the making

  10. Barry

    May 30, 2016 at 3:07 pm

    As the saying goes, “there are lies, damned lies and statistics”

  11. Robin Charles Halton

    May 30, 2016 at 2:59 pm

    Its not all doom and gloom John as long as the Turnbull Government is reelected maybe with the concurrence of the Xenophon Party who could potentially assist the government govern making the political system more user friendly locally and not to prevent more foreign takeovers of Australian enterprise.

    I listened to Shorten at the National Press Club debate but fortunately Turnbull won the debate after what was a pretty dull affair.

    Worse, this morning I listened to Shorten visiting Cairns, all he could manage was some utterly boring parlava about what Turnbull would do.

    Do us a favor old pal, dont vote for Labor, Shorten is a real dud and cannot be trusted to deliver his outrageous promises when Labor has not completed its budget bottom line.

  12. Chris

    May 30, 2016 at 2:53 pm

    Abetz And Nick or Lick will not answer you, they dislike cuddly things and dogs in particular anything that barks and gives warning that there is danger present is avoided by the duo.
    They may take taxis or hire cars like their leaning mate Hockey the Slipper condemner ……

    ABBA anybody but Abetz and Nick or lick, he got demoted and when the Toff visits he wears extra long loyalty laces to prove he is somewhere glove puppeteering on Abetz coat tails.

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