WorkChoices gets top marks from employers

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WorkChoices gets top marks from employers

A leading employers organisation has given WorkChoices six straight 'As' on its report card, saying it has benefited the Australian economy.

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A leading employers organisation has given WorkChoices six straight 'As' on its report card, saying it has benefited the Australian economy.

The Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ACCI) evaluated WorkChoices on six criteria: productivity, investment, employment, wages, strikes and working hours.

ACCI Director of Workplace Policy, Peter Anderson, said in each area the results are 'excellent, and in most cases superior to forecasts or previous performance'.

'While many factors affect economic performance, the evidence so far suggests that WorkChoices is clearly contributing to the strength of the Australian economy and labour market,' he said.

'Doom and gloom wrong'

'The doom and gloom forecasts of WorkChoices have been proven inaccurate. While employment has increased, the economy has expanded even more, leading to increases in productivity.'

The key findings from the ACCI analysis are:

  • productivity growth since WorkChoices (at least 2.1%) has equalled or bettered the historical average
  • investment is now at an all-time high of 29.4% of GDP - well above the levels in the previous mining boom
  • employment growth is 2.8% per annum (above the 10 year average)
  • 417,000 new jobs have been created since WorkChoices, with 352,300 of these (84%) full-time
  • unemployment has fallen by a further 0.6% with the number of people unemployed falling by 45,900
  • the wage price index has increased by 3.8% (annualised) - above the five and 10 year average
  • average weekly earnings have increased by 4.7% (annualised) - equal to the five year average and above the 20 year average
  • 0.8 working days were lost per 1,000 employees - meaning strikes are now at their lowest level since 1913, and
  • working hours have continued to reduce, and the proportion of people working long hours has fallen

'While assessments over a longer economic cycle are not yet possible, these are excellent results so far,' Anderson said. 'Economic reform produces a social dividend - more jobs, higher wages and better living standards.'

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