Dead end jobs rising amid world struggle to meet demand for good quality work

STEPHEN DRILL HERALD SUN SEPTEMBER 09, 2014

AUSTRALIA is not producing enough quality jobs to keep up with population increases and the problem is getting worse, a new report shows.

The OECD report released on Tuesday reveals unless economic growth rises the jobs market will be filled with low paying jobs.

“The current growth trajectory, if unchanged, will not create enough quality jobs — give rising to the risk that the jobs gap will remain substantial,” the report says.

“Underemployment and informal employment will rise and sluggish growth in wages and incomes will continue to place downward pressure on consumption, living standards and global aggregate demand.”

The report also reveals that the gap between the highest paid and lowest paid workers was also widening.

The warning comes as employment ministers from G20 countries are meeting in Melbourne this week to discuss the global employment outlook.

The group’s membership includes Australia, the United States, the United Kingdom, the European Union and South East Asian and South American countries.

Australian Employment Minister Eric Abetz, US secretary of Labor Tom Perez and Britain’s Minister of State for Employment Esther McVey, who are in Melbourne for the meeting, all argued economic growth must continue to rise.

Mr Abetz said he expected jobs growth in agriculture, mining, services and aged care sectors.

“Business as usual will continue to see that jobs gap, that is in nobody’s interest, economic or socially,” he said.

He said free trade agreements with South Korea and reducing red tape would create jobs.

Tom Perez, US secretary of labor, said higher economic growth would create jobs.

“It’s undeniable one of our challenges in the US and across the G20 is to pick up the pace of growth,” he said.

“We are debating how we stimulate consumption… transportation infrastructure investments which are very real issues. Those not only address critical infrastructure, they create good middle class jobs.”

He said cyber security was an emerging sector.

Ms McVey said youth unemployment was dropping in the UK and that schools needed to teach subjects that led to jobs, particularly in science.

She said the private sector had picked up 2 million jobs in Britain since 2010.

“We really needed to look at rebalancing the economy — jobs right across the board,” she said.

stephen.drill@news.com.au

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