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More Workforce Dropouts
(Letter published in The Australian Financial Review, 22 January 2013.
Square brackets deleted by Ed)

Your report on the fall in employment and increase in unemployment in December refers to the shadow treasurer Joe Hockey’s comment that “a lot of Australians ... are underemployed, refusing to declare themselves as being underemployed (“Work hours cut as jobless figures rise”, AFR,18 Jan).

In fact, an increasing proportion of the working age have dropped out of the work force altogether: of the increase of 595,000 in the working age population over the two years to November, some 383,000 or 64 percent ceased to look for jobs. [These are the disguised unemployed].

They include many lower skilled workers who are being unfairly treated because the regulatory legislation, including awards, is pricing them out of the market.

Why does the Fair Work legislation prohibit the payment of a wage between the minimum of $606 per week and the dole of $246 per week? Why does the FWA have the absurd unfair dismissal provisions [outlined by Grace Collier? ( “Working with the system”, 18 Jan)].

[These and other Fair Work Australia regulatory arrangements are skewed heavily in favour of trade unions and act as a deterrent to risk-taking in both investment and employment.]

Des Moore
Institute for Private Enterprise

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