07 May 2018

The Reserve Bank of Australia’s (RBA) quarterly Statement on Monetary Policy, reinforces Labor’s concerns around underemployment and subdued wages growth. 
The statement confirms that underemployment “remains elevated”. Australia has a persistent underemployment problem, with more than 1.1 million underemployed Australians looking for more work, but unable to find it.
While Turnbull may try to boast about jobs figures, the truth is the facts are more complicated.  
Labor achievements – such as the NDIS and significant infrastructure investments – continue to be key drivers of increased employment in the economy.
The RBA notes that the NDIS is boosting jobs and labour force participation, with the number of people employed in the healthcare and social assistance industry increasing by more than 150,000 over the year to February 2018. 

“The rollout of the National Disability Insurance Scheme over the next few years and the gradual ageing of the population are both expected to continue to boost employment in health care and social assistance.”

The RBA also points to evidence that wages growth is unlikely to increase significantly over the next year. 
Just this week, RBA Governor, Dr Philip Lowe, said that low wages growth is set to continue, and has echoed Labor’s concern that this is impacting inequality. 
Labor has long been warning that the decline of enterprise bargaining is contributing to wages growth at record low levels and rising inequality. 
With insecure work, record low wages growth, and skyrocketing cost of living pressures, Australians are feeling the pinch. Turnbull and his Liberals have failed to acknowledge these challenges, let alone come up with any policy initiatives to deal with them. 
Turnbull and his Liberals have no plan to help workers - instead Turnbull and every member of his government support reducing workers’ take home pay by cutting their penalty rates.
The Government should be getting on with the job of addressing the challenges and persistent problems in the labour market, rather than obsessing over how to give massive tax breaks to Turnbull’s friends at the top end of town


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