Friday, January 6, 2012

changing employment profiles

Courtesy of a tweet by Malcolm Turnbull came a link to a post today at the AFR: Times changing for workers and Labor. The AFR is usually now paywalled however this seems to be open access. There is also a link to this report with graphics.

It is a report by John Black from Australian Development Strategies on employment changes in four key industries. Black was a Queensland ALP Senator between 1985 - 1990 although not sure he remains well regarded within the ALP milieu?

Have no idea on the veracity of the methodology but regardless this does contain some contentiously interesting stuff. While constricted to just four key industries not all most relevant to the Far North, Black claims that growth in employment since 2007 has been massively weighted to health.

The growth in health industry jobs over the past two years has equalled some 2.3 per cent of the entire Australian workforce, or a new labour market bigger than Tasmania’s. Since November 2007, ABS labour force surveys indicate Australian health bureaucrats created 260,000 jobs, including 56,800 in hospitals, 101,600 in medicinal and health-care services, 63,200 in residential care and 48,200 in social assistance. The jobs tally for health is now 1,356,000 and two years ago, it took over from retail as our biggest industry, with more jobs than you’ll find now in Western Australia.
The industries are Health, Finance, Mining, and Manufacturing. An initial attempt to navigate the interactive graph by postcode for changes in these categories with employment changes between November 2007 and 2011 in number of jobs by postcode in Cairns:

Postcode 4878
Mining +104
Manufacturing -22
Finance   -16
Health  + 319

Postcode 4879
Mining +145
Manufacturing -227
Finance +6
Health -133

Postcode 4870
Mining +228
Manufacturing +124
Finance -35
Health +2,129

Postcode 4868
Mining  +80
Manufacturing +77
Finance +143
Health +437

Postcode 4869
Mining -130
Manufacturing +2
Finance +124
Health  +462

Again, I have no idea of the methodology adopted here and the industries do not include key FNQ components such as retail, construction and tourism (note: tourism is usually not a specific industry classification for most statistical purposes as it transcends many industry boundaries).


1 comment:

  1. Well, no surprise about health given the ageing of the population. My guess regarding his methodology is that he's taken the ABS employment by industry data for each statistical region (e.g. Far North) and multiplied it by each postcode's share of industry employment in that region back in 2006. One problem is the employment by industry data are very noisy at the regional level. Also the relative population shares of different postcodes in Far North may have changed since 2006 (I doubt he's adjusted for this). I wouldn't have too much faith in any of the numbers by postcode.

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