It is unambiguous that the Australian economy is in an enviable state. All the key parameters—inflation, unemployment, growth—are more or less where we want them. However, where Australia falls away from being a world leader is in the often forgotten measurement of underemployment.
This is the first of four blog posts I will be writing for ESSA from the 41st Australian Conference of Economists, co-hosted by Economics Society of Australia and Victoria University. This blog aims to give its readers an insight into the key discussion topics at the ACE conference which created hearty debate amongst some of Australia’s pre-eminent economists.
The Australian economy continues to defy economic gravity, with the latest round of economic statistics released last week showing an economy growing above trend over the last 12 months, full-time job creation ticking up in May, and a higher participation rate as people become more confident in finding a job.
Budget analyses in the media consist of a scramble to tell readers whether or not the government has kept or broken promises and above all else, to tell us who has won and lost out of the budget, as well as who would have won and lost had the opposition been in power.
What never fails to escape the focus of the media hurricane is the extent to which this budget addresses the deeper issues facing the country as a whole and what measures are being taken now to combat the medium to long term pressures that the country faces.