More Choice, Less Certainty as Aus Jobless Rate Hits 33 Year Low


A strange note from the Australian job market. “The jobless rate has fallen to a fresh 33-year low of 4.2 per cent, stoking fears of an interest rate rise next month,” reports the Australian. “In a sign of an economy working at full tilt, the number of jobs increased by 13,000 in September. A fall in full time employment of 17,200 was offset by a surge in part time jobs of 30,100.”

It’s not strange that the economy is running at full tilt. What is strange is that full-time employment fell while part time employment soared. Hmm. An anomaly? Or a structural shift in the job market where you have greater flexibility to move and improve your salary, but less lifetime employment security?

That’s globalisation for your, more choice but less certainty. It’s hitting Western workforces particularly hard. For years we’ve been used to high wages and little competition. Now it’s the opposite: low wages and fierce competition.

Our prediction: the forced flexibility is inevitable. You can’t lock in high wages these days by protecting certain markets. If you try, whole sectors of your economy will simply vanish offshore where labour is cheaper. Employees will have more flexibility…but slower real growth in wages…and higher growth in prescription medications for anxiety and depression.

Dan Denning
The Daily Reckoning Australia

Dan Denning
Dan Denning examines the geopolitical and economic events that can affect your investments domestically. He raises the questions you need to answer, in order to survive financially in these turbulent times.


  1. Anxiety and depression will no doubt increase but for the first time in history all of the workers of the world will actually have something in common to unite against; global capital.

    Each system lays the groundwork for its eventual fall.

  2. Credit

    When markets rise it’s no surprise
    your government takes the credit.
    It’s a cleverness and vision thing,
    bold leadership that led it.

    But when markets fall and suffering starts
    It’s business thugs who bled it.
    Those greedy corporate crooks are jailed
    and your government takes the credit.

    Philip Barton
    October 12, 2007
  3. The jobless rate fell because long-term unemployed are being harrassed, case-managed and starved off the dole (and off the jobless list). The credit crunch and rising costs mean that many are accepting any job at any wage to pay the rent.

    David Hannaford
    October 13, 2007
  4. In a free market economy-yes..But we are seeing the rise of protectionist policies in the States and this will percolate around the globe along with cries of “China should play by the rules”.A democrat president,labour government in Australia.Are we really ready to compete freely with a work force that sleeps in dorms at the local factory?I don’t think so.

  5. Comrade Market Socialist Dude:

    A libertarian, gold bug etc etc forum is a very odd place to find what reads as a finely conventional socialist.

    You read Daily Reckoning to fine tune your portfolio pending the day of the Revolution ?

    Or are we just looking for names of class enemies ?

    Just curious.

    MMLJ of Sydney
    October 15, 2007
  6. Dear MMLJ,

    Let me point out that I am not a “finely conventional socialist”. I am a market socialist, which means I believe in a decentralised form of socialism, which operates on the basis of the law of supply and demand.

    I thought I would regularly comment on this site so I could engage in real debate instead of seeing people furiously agreeing with each other.


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