The ACT’s strong performing economy has created an environment of not only of low unemployment, but full-time jobs growth.
According to Deloitte Access Economic’s Business Outlook Report for the first quarter of 2018, the ACT had the fastest growth of any state or territory during the last financial year.
Directly tied to the ACT’s strong economic results is the fact the Territory currently has the lowest unemployment rate in the country and full-time adult average weekly ordinary time earnings are the highest in Australia.
Between March 2017 and 2018 an additional 8,600 jobs were created in the ACT consisting of 10,600 new full-time jobs and a decrease of 2,000 in part time jobs.
Today more than half of all Canberrans are employed by a private sector business and 97 per cent of the businesses operating in the ACT are small businesses.
With the ACT’s economy reliant on small business, it would be self-defeating to significantly increase small business costs and risk driving these key employers out of business.
Yet the ACTU marched in Canberra this week to call for changes to employment conditions that would hinder small businesses capacity to grow and hire staff.
The ACTU’s arguments for amending workplace laws focus on the creation of more permanent jobs.
“Yet workforce casualisation is not increasing in Australia. Rates of casual work have been stable for the last two decades. The proportion of Australians in short, medium and longer terms jobs is the same in 2018 as it was in 2008,” Canberra Business Chamber CEO, Robyn Hendry explained.
“To suggest businesses are driving an increase in casual labour ignores the choices made by the many Canberrans who do not want full-time work for a variety of reasons and require more flexible work options.
“For example, casual employment is highest amongst those aged 15-19, who are usually balancing work and school, and in industries such as hospitality and retail where many people get their start in the labour market. However, even these sectors are reporting they have increased permanent staff numbers for greater business efficiencies.”