Daily Management Review

The Mystery Ingredient In Australia's Jobs Feast Are Women


10/22/2017




Answer to an economic puzzle that analysts and policymakers alike have been struggling to solve this year can be provided by women coming into Australia’s workforce.
 
The jobless rate hardly budged even while the country’s employment has been surging beyond all expectations.
 
A surge in new jobs in the healthcare sector in roles dominated by women has been prompted by tax breaks on childcare and the launch of a disability insurance scheme.
 
And analysts say that a big positive for the economy has been the resultant increase in the proportion of women in the workforce in Australia which has reached a record high of 60 percent.
 
But the fact that most other sectors of the economy have seen limited or no jobs growth this year, the optimism is tempered shorter-term.
 
Rising much faster than the 1.6 percent growth in the population, new jobs rose 2.7 percent in the year to August, the latest quarterly figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) show. Still, unemployment stuck at around 5.6 percent.
 
Outstripping even the booming construction industry, more than a third of the 329,000 net jobs created in Australia in the year to August were in healthcare, analysis of the data shows.
 
Healthcare is easily the single biggest employer with 1.6 million workers, ahead of retail and construction. is easily the single biggest employer with 1.6 million workers, ahead of retail and construction and annual jobs growth in healthcare was a scorching 8.7 percent.
 
In both sectors where women tend to be active participants, childcare and social assistance make up the bulk of the new jobs, a breakdown of the healthcare data shows. And more jobs are created as many are hiring carers for their own children as they enter the workforce.
 
Corresponding closely to the timing of tax breaks for childcare and the launch of a government-mandated, tax-payer funded National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), the upsurge in healthcare has happened relatively recently.
 
In the 12 months to August 2016, healthcare created just 4,000 new positions. it added 106,000 in the six months to last August and the figures are set to rise.
 
From 73,000 in 2013, demand for full-time equivalent positions for care providers will double to 163,000 due to the NDIS in 2020, the federal government estimates.
 
As populations age, one aspect that more rich nations will have to consider more rich nations will have to consider is the shift to more care workers. And vital to counter shrinking working-age populations in Australia is the increased participation in the workforce by women.
 
Currently at 70.7 percent, down from above 79 percent in 1978, the proportion of men in the workforce in Australia, for example, has been in long-term decline.
 
“Rising female participation in the economy is good for growth as it will boost the workforce and a more gender diverse workforce is good for productivity,” said Shane Oliver, head of investment strategy at AMP Capital.
 
Analysts however said that as the headline figures might suggest, the increase in the overall jobs numbers this year is not as flattering for the economy.
 
(Source:www.reuters.com)






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