Posts Tagged “Restart”

Searching for work when you are 50 years+ can be daunting, frustrating and deflating. I talk to people on a weekly basis about this issue and their comments are always the same:

  • “I’ve got all the qualifications, why can’t I get an interview?”
  • “Why doesn’t anyone see my experience as a positive?”
  • “Employers are only seeking young people!” 

It is a tough market, but its tough for jobseekers at every level. Reality TV shows have mastered the art of shocking people into action by measuring their actual age against their physical age or mental age etc. It’s a wake up call for many. Imagine being told as a 35 year old women that you have the physical age of 48 years! Yikes!

Job seekers in the 50-something category could benefit from a ‘job seeker age test’. How old are you based on the content of your resume and comments made to employers? Many of you would be quite surprised by the results.

In my experience there are a number of mistakes mature job seekers make without realising it, that are far more damaging than their perceived idea of racism based on age. As a mature job seeker you have to ‘modernise’ your approach to compete in today’s market, not only in your resume, but your attitude as well.

Many mature jobseekers start their search with a pre-determined idea that no one will employ them because they are over 50 years. Self defeating thoughts will not help your cause. Sure, there are organisations that prefer younger employees, and sadly some that do discriminate, however, there are a number of companies who value the wealth of experience mature candidates offer.

I know a medium sized organisation here in Western Australia who actively seeks mature age candidates. In the Managing Directors own words “we prefer 2 part time mature employees to 1 full-time person. We’ve found their work ethic, output and longevity is much better than their younger counterparts”.

When it comes to staying young, a mind-lift beats a face-lift any day. 

 ~Marty Bucella

As a mature job seeker you need to ask yourself how you present to an employer. Do you come across as confident, happy and motivated? Or have you become cynical, a product of your self-defeating thoughts?

  • Do you call people ‘pet’, ‘lovey’ or ‘dear’?
  • Have you made statements like “back in my day” or “way back when”?
  • Is your resume as thick as a novel because you’ve included every position ever held?
  • Are you including your date of birth, social security pension card number, dates of high school education and qualifications?
  • Do you hand deliver applications despite the employer’s request for emails because you hate using the computer?
  • Are you still submitting resumes that read like job descriptions because “they always worked for me in the past”?
  • Do you rely on print media to source vacancies because you aren’t a computer person?
  • At interviews have you asked how old other staff are to determine if you will have to work with “whipper snappers”?
  • Do you give the impression at interview of wanting to take over? Eg. “I can teach him a thing or two with all my experience”
  • Are you positively selling your experience … “I have a great deal of experience and skills which I can share with the team” as opposed to “I could teach these young pups a thing or two!”
  • Do you make excuses for your age … one of the worst I ever heard as a recruiter was “I know you probably want someone younger” … this was during the interview  – she already had one foot in the door!

Your attitude counts for a lot and will affect people’s impression of you. Be aware of your thoughts and focus on the positive aspects rather than the negative. I bet your job seeker age goes down in the process.


Michelle Lopez, Owner/Career Consultant



Date: November 1, 2014 
Ross Gittins

The Sydney Morning Herald’s Economics Editor

<i>Illustration: Glen Le Lievre</i>

Illustration: Glen Le Lievre

Politicians and economists have been banging on about the ageing of the population for ages, but how much do we actually know about the likely economic consequences? Not much – until now.

We’ve been told incessantly that ageing spells bad news for the budget – greatly increased spending on pensions and healthcare – with ageing used to help justify the harsh spending cuts proposed in this year’s budget.

In truth, it has suited the powers-that-be to exaggerate ageing’s effect on the budget. And oldies are right to resent the way ageing has been presented as nothing but a terrible problem. If the fact that we’re living longer, healthier lives is a “problem”, it’s the best kind of problem to have.

So let’s ignore the budget and focus on ageing’s other economic consequences, some of which are good. We’ll do so with help from a speech given last week by Dr Christopher Kent, an assistant governor of the Reserve Bank.

Kent says population ageing is driven by three factors: the boom in babies in the early years after World War II (1945 to 1960), the subsequent sharp drop in fertility rates that created a baby-boomer bulge, plus rising longevity thanks to decades of prosperity and advances in medical science.

The authorities have been warning about the coming consequences of ageing for so long – and how bad it will be by 2040 – that I suspect many people have given up waiting for it to start.

Well, get this: although it’s got a long way to go, it’s already started. The baby boomers have been retiring since the turn of the century, thus reducing the share of the population that’s of usual working age (15 to 64).

Kent says that, taken by itself, ageing is estimated to have subtracted from the labour force participation rate by between 0.1 and 0.2 percentage points a year over the past decade and a half. This effect has increased a little in recent years as baby boomers have begun reaching 65.

Point is, ageing’s biggest and most obvious effect is not on the budget, it’s on the labour market. Everyone alive contributes to the demand for labour, but only those of us willing and able to work contribute to its supply.

So ageing constitutes a reduction in the supply of labour relative to the demand. That suggests we can expect it to cause unemployment to be lower than otherwise (which is not to say it won’t continue to go up and down with the business cycle).

Since Australians have worried that there aren’t enough jobs to go around ever since the middle of Gough Whitlam’s reign, that sounds like good news to me. We’re in the process of switching from not enough jobs to not enough workers.

(What I wonder is how long it will take for our mentality to shift. The perception that there’s never enough jobs is now so deeply ingrained that any shyster with a profit-making scheme he claims will “create jobs” is greeted as a hero and demands that he be showered with subsidies.)

And with demand for labour stronger than supply, this implies upward pressure on wages. Again, sounds like good news to me. Kent adds that the converse of higher wage rates is lower returns to capital.

Kent points out that the pressure on labour supply will be felt most by industries that rely more heavily on labour, mainly service industries. Prominent among those industries will be aged care and healthcare, of course.

But, Kent adds, there’s likely to be scope for labour to be reallocated among service industries, with a lower proportion of young people meaning we’ll require fewer workers to care for and educate children.

There’ll also be relatively less demand for workers to produce goods. That’s for several reasons. First, because older people tend to devote less of their spending to goods and more services. Second, because all of us tend to spend an increasing share of our rising incomes on services. There are limits to our consumption of food, wearing of clothes and how many TVs, fridges and cars we can cram into our house.

Third, because of its greater reliance on machines, the production of goods is more amenable to continuous improvement in labour productivity than is the production of services. As one economist famously observed, you can’t improve the productivity of a quartet by reducing the number of players.

All this implies the prices of services are likely to rise relative to those of goods.

But now, gentle reader, if I’ve trained you well enough you’ll have noticed a weakness in my argument so far. I’ve described only the immediate effects of ageing – what economists call the “first-round effects”.

That’s where most people’s analysis stops, but economic analysis keeps going. One of the most important questions economists ask is: “And then what happens?” It’s the second-round and subsequent effects economics is supposed to illuminate.

Seen from an economist’s mindset, what I’ve described is a change in relative prices: the price of (or return on) labour relative to the price of (or return on) capital. The prices of services relative to the prices of goods.

Kent says it’s important that these relative price changes not be prevented from occurring. Why? So market forces can go to work on them, adapting to them, modifying them and, to some extent, reversing them.

The higher relative price of labour should encourage more middle-aged people to take jobs and more oldies to delay their full retirement, thus reducing the upward pressure on wages a bit. The higher relative prices of services should encourage more people to acquire the education and training needed to work in the services sector.

And greater longevity should encourage workers to save more for their longer time in retirement.

That’s what happens in market economies: things adjust.

Ross Gittins is the economics editor.

Source:  SMH

Date:  October 30, 2014

Ian Yates

This week the Federal government is again taking to the Senate a bill that contains its proposed changes to the age pension after redrafting earlier blocked bills.

The ALP Opposition has already waved through the freezing of the assets test for three years from 2017 in the House of Representatives and will do the same in the Senate. Compromises may emerge from the cross-bench on freezing the income test, slashing the deeming rate thresholds, and raising the eligibility age to 70.

The Prime Minister and his tense backbenchers must be concerned about the potential for political fallout because Mr Abbott took pre-emptive action this month and sent a personal letter to every age pensioner assuring them that what he was planning to do with the pension was OK.

Interestingly, in this letter the Prime Minister avoided mentioning the big-ticket item that pensioners are deeply concerned about – changes to pension indexation.

Pensions currently go up every six months by the higher of the increase in average weekly earnings, the CPI, or the Pensioner and Beneficiary Cost of Living Index or PBCLI. This ensures the pension keeps up with the real cost of living.

The government’s plans would remove both average weekly earnings and the PBCLI in 2017 and only index by CPI. Occasionally that would be all right because the CPI is the higher. But generally this is not the case. In fact only twice in the pastfive years has the CPI been marginally higher.

The Parliamentary Budget Office reports that by 2024-25 the proposed changes will reduce the total value of age pensions that year by $6.9 billion. That’s about $2000 a year less for a single pension, more than $3000 less for a couple in today’s dollars.

Why is the government taking such drastic steps and targeting pensioners – many of them Coalition supporters?

According to Treasurer Joe Hockey, it is all about avoiding the budget crisis precipitated by the advent of the ageing population.

Indeed the population is ageing. The population aged 65 plus will increase by 85 per cent between 2011 and 2031 and the percentage aged 65-plus will increase from 13.8 in 2011 to 18.7 in 2031.  That’s more people potentially on the pension and fewer  workers paying income tax to help fund it.

But the sky isn’t falling. We have known about our changing demographics for a long time and have built a pension system which is repeatedly named internationally as one of the most modest and sustainable in the western world. Our pension system costs government only two-thirds of the average for the OECD.

Yet we do have a superannuation system that provides high-income earners and wealthy retirees with very generous tax concessions – in some cases more than the equivalent of a full age pension.

When it comes to retirement, there are big winners and even bigger losers and it is all in the interplay of taxation, pensions and superannuation policies that creates this great inequity.

While the debate around pension changes rages on, the Financial Services Council has calculated that working Australians will have $128 billion less in their superannuation savings by 2025 following the decision to delay the 12 per cent superannuation guarantee.

If the government is so concerned about the sustainability of the pension in the long term why would they even consider a move to reduce most workers superannuation savings?

What is happening is that decisions are being made about pensions, superannuation and tax in a piecemeal way, in isolation, and without consideration for the flow-on effect they will have in other areas.

Instead, we urgently need the government to agree to an independent and comprehensive review of retirement income policy in Australia.

It’s time we got in the same room all the best minds who have looked at the ins and outs of current polices, and also talked with older people and other stakeholders, to discuss the best way forward, taking in the whole picture – pensions, superannuation, taxation and mature age employment issues.

Let’s take the current bills off the table and take a proper look at the best policies that will address the challenges and opportunities our ageing population. Policies that are equitable, co-ordinated and sustainable and don’t just entrench disadvantage for millions of older Australians.

Ian Yates is chief executive of  COTA Australia

Read more:


Generation gaps still not understood by bosses

The report recommends collecting data on the different generations to adapt approaches.Photo: istock


Employers are out of touch with what generations of workers really want, a report has found.

The latest report by recruiting giant Chandler Macleod released on Wednesday found that while business leaders thought they were catering well for the needs of Generation Y (born in 1980-1994), Generation X (1965-1979), Baby boomers (1946-1964) and Traditionalists (born before 1946), the workers had far less glowing perceptions.

The report, Talent Management: The Next Wave, was based on surveys of 233 senior managers, leaders and specialists and 287 employees across Australia and New Zealand.

It found all generations most wanted flexible work conditions, which included flexible hours and part-time work. However, only 12 per cent of Generation Y, 21 per cent of Generation X and 27 per cent of Baby boomers gave their employer good marks in this area.

Employers were also out of step with the top priorities for each generation, particularly generations X and Y that now account for 69 per cent of their workforce.



Employers were worst at identifying what their youngest workers wanted, believing Generation Y wanted “employee development”, “regular goal setting” and “continuous review of talent”, when in fact these workers said they most valued “flexible work conditions”, “employee-focused development” and “regular goal setting”.

Employers underestimated Generation X’s desire for “training to keep up with the times” and Baby boomers’ and Traditionalists’ desire for “continuous coaching and feedback”.

Generation X and Y workers were also more negative about how successful their employer had been in catering for their generation than older workers were. While 17 per cent of employers thought their use of social media was effective as part of a strategy to manage younger workers, only 1 per cent of Gen Ys saw this as effective in practice.

Staff wanted flexible working conditions, as well as flexible work environments (this included being able to work from anywhere rather than having to sit at a desk). While 76 per cent of employers agreed that flexible working arrangements provided a positive return on investment, a third of employers surveyed said there was an inverse relationship between flexible work arrangements and productivity. The report also found 50 per cent of employers did not have any generation- specific talent management strategies and only 48 per cent of employers thought that age had an impact on the needs of their workers.



Chandler Macleod chief executive Cameron Judson, said he was not surprised that there was such a disjunct between what workers wanted and what employers presumed they wanted.

“We have four different generations working side by side, each with their own traits and tendencies; so clearly a one-size-fits-all approach to attracting and retaining talent isn’t going to work,” he said.

He said the key message in the report for leaders was to be relevant to employees. “This means management by walking the floor, knowing your team, being interested in them and not sitting at a PC screen all day,” he argued.

He suggested the reason that employers seemed to misjudge younger workers the most was because the “default approach to leadership is to lead others the way they were led”.

“As we gain better insights into Gen X and Millennials in the workplace, employers have to adapt from traditional talent management approaches (hierarchical, top-down, process focused, external rewards) to emerging trends (networked, outcome-focused, intrinsic rewards, matrix organisations) he said

The report recommended collecting data on the different generations to adapt approaches that are relevant to each generation. It suggested offering flexible work arrangements equally across the workforce and making it easier for managers to produce and retain talent with policies that support ongoing education, talent mobility, career growth and internal development.


Source:  AFR

National Correspondent
Fifties Worker

Karenn Elmer, with work colleague Angela Pickering, found full-time work with Hallmark Homes on the Gold Coast. Picture: Lyndon Mechielsen Source: News Corp Australia

THE Employment Department has accused baby boomers of ­“retiring’’ on the dole, as the number of over-50s on Newstart jumped 9 per cent in a year.

Unemployment is rising five times faster for Australians in their 50s than for those in their 20s, the latest social-security data reveals, creating a “grey army” of 50,000 long-term jobless.

Older jobseekers will soon be forced to hunt for full-time jobs, or lose their Newstart payments, as part of an Abbott government welfare crackdown.

“Given the ageing workforce and the fact that most people aged 55 have many potentially prod­uctive years ahead of them, it is no longer acceptable for 55-59-year-old jobseekers to effectively retire on Newstart while undertaking a bit of voluntary or part-time work,’’ the Employment Department has told a Senate inquiry into the government’s welfare bill.

Federal Age Discrimination Commissioner Susan Ryan yesterday blasted the department’s “completely wrong’’ choice of language.

She said many older people applied for hundreds of jobs, yet never got an interview due to widespread age discrimination by employers.

“If you’re 55, you’ve got 10 years before you get the Age Pension, so imagine trying to spend 10 years on the tiny amount of money you get on Newstart,’’ Ms Ryan said yesterday.

“The implication that they are willing to hang around on New­start while doing a bit of volunteer work as a preferred position is completely wrong.

“People in that age group, more than young people, are desperately seeking employment — often they have mortgages and are still rearing kids.’’

The number of over-50s who have been out of work more than a year soared 16 per cent to 49,985 in the 12 months to September, while the total number on the dole rose by 9 per cent to 79,163.

Unemployment among 21-29-year-olds rose just 1.7 per cent, to 112,130, including 67,139 who have been on the dole more than a year — an 11 per cent jump.

But 384 unemployed Australians in their 50s — including 135 with disabilities — have found work through the government’s Restart wage subsidy scheme. Employers can pocket $10,000 over two years if they hire a worker aged 50 or older, who has been out of work for at least six months.

Queensland builder Hallmark Homes recently hired 58-year-old receptionist Karenn Elmer, who spent two years on the dole after being made redundant from her previous job.

Sales and marketing manager Stephanie Long praised Ms Elmer’s experience and mature attitude.

“She’s so switched-on and nothing’s ever too much trouble,’’ she said yesterday.

“I’ll be going for more mature-aged workers from now on — they are very knowledgeable, there are no excuses and they have a great work ethic.’’

Ms Elmer said she had struggled on Newstart after losing her job in 2012. “It’s like I went from zero to hero when I got this job,’’ she said yesterday.

“I’m so glad someone believed in me; I guess it’s my old-school training and respect, and things like manners .’’

Ms Elmer said it was “ridiculous’’ for the Department of ­Employment to suggest older people wanted to “retire” on the $258-a-week Newstart allowance, which pays $130 a week less than the Age Pension.

“My world turned upside-down when I lost my full-time job and I was living below the poverty line for two years,’’ she said.

Under the existing welfare rules, jobseekers aged 55 or older do not have to seek full-time work to get the dole, so long as they are volunteering or working part-time. Under the draft legislation, they will be required to apply for full-time jobs, in line with young­er jobseekers, from January 1.

The Straits Times

Professor Ursula Staudinger, who heads a centre dedicated to research on ageing at Columbia University, says old age and productivity are compatible but only if mindsets are changed so older people are motivated to continue working.

Rosa Finnegan loved sharing jokes, giggled like a young girl and went to work every day in Needham, the small Massachusetts town she called home. When she finally retired late last year, the snowy haired great-grandmother of three was 101.

Born in 1912, the year the Titanic sank, Mrs Finnegan died in June this year, four months after celebrating her 102nd birthday.

She may have been old, but she was certainly not the odd one out at her company, Vita Needle. The average age of workers there is 74.

But the family-run business which manufactures needles and steel pipes is no social enterprise, says Professor Ursula Staudinger, who heads a centre dedicated to research on ageing at Columbia University in New York. “This is a profitable company that has discovered the value of older workers.”

Vita Needle’s success, in many ways, reflects the findings of numerous research studies that show that human beings can remain productive and engaged right till the end of their lives, says the distinguished professor of psychology who has spent more than a decade leading inter-disciplinary research on the productive potential of human ageing.

“Old age and productivity can indeed go very well together,” Prof Staudinger told The Sunday Times. She was in Singapore at the invitation of the Tsao Foundation to deliver the charity’s annual lecture last Thursday on the opportunities presented by ageing.

In a field dominated by negative narratives – think the proverbial silver tsunami – the psychologist’s message is one of hope and promise. “We are not only living longer, but we are also healthier than ever before,” she says. “Rather than fret about ageing, we must realise that we have this enormous gift of a longer life. And we must use it well.”

An ageing population and fewer children will mean lower productivity only “if we continue doing things the way we have been in the past” by keeping labour market regulations and retirement age unchanged, for instance.

However, if people are encouraged to spend longer working lives, not necessarily in continuous employment, but with breaks for periods of further education and tending to family needs, then it is possible to be economically productive way past 70.

Companies and countries alike must begin to focus on “qualitative growth”, rather than “quantitative growth”, says Prof Staudinger.

She was born and raised in Germany which, barring Japan and Italy, has the highest proportion of older people in the world, with a fifth of its population aged 65 and above. Singapore’s elderly population is set to nearly triple in 20 years, a feat that took Europe a century to achieve.

“By qualitative growth, I mean we must intensify the investment in each individual, we bring the health and educational level up and we change the labour market qualitatively so that people are motivated to work – and maintain their productivity.”

This, she notes, is very different from a worker being forced to work because he cannot afford to retire.

Her research on ageing in the workplace has provided valuable insights into what makes older workers tick.

A study that looked at assembly-line workers at a car factory in Germany showed that workers who changed tasks at least three times over 16 years tended to function better cognitively than colleagues who did not, other things remaining equal.

“You have to have enough variability in what you do. The simpler the job, the more frequent these changes have to be.”

A crucial determinant of productivity is the mindset of the company, and especially of supervisors.

“If everyone believes these workers are less productive and this is reinforced by supervisors and company leaders, then this becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. In the end, the older worker believes what everyone else believes. If you are not entrusted, if you are not challenged, you will not live up to the challenge,” she says.

Incentives from the state and changes in labour laws to keep the current cohort of older workers employable are one way forward, says Prof Staudinger, noting that the Singapore Government has taken several steps in this direction.

It is subsidising the wage bills of companies that hire older workers and announced earlier this month that, from next year, eligible public servants will be offered re-employment till they turn 67.

When they reach the statutory retirement age of 62, eligible workers are already offered re-employment up to the age of 65 under the Retirement and Re-employment Act which came into force in 2012.

However, current rehiring laws in Singapore give companies the option to reduce a worker’s pay when they are rehired.

Prof Staudinger warns that care must be taken to see that state support does not end up being used against the interests of workers themselves.

In Europe, state incentives to companies that hire and retain older workers are tied to criteria that ensure the workers are not discriminated against. For instance, companies are required to pay older workers the same wage they would pay a younger worker for the same job. And strict minimum wage laws ensure older workers are not exploited as cheap labour.

“While crafting laws, you have to anticipate misuse and devise ways to avoid it.”

This article was first published on Oct 12, 2014.


Training for an unemployed older jobseeker can be tricky. Judy Higgins of provides her top tips on how the right training can help you find employment or start a whole new career.

Often if unemployed older jobseekers are lucky enough to get an interview, they are told ‘you are overqualified’, and on that basis why would you waste the time, effort and money to train. Right? Not necessarily. There are instances where training can assist you into employment.

Train into a job

Some organisations in specific skill shortage industries – aged care for instance – develop and set up their own training organisations, recruit participants from the local area, train them and place them into jobs within their organisation. This system works well for everyone. The organisation has local, trained staff and the training often leads to a job for participants. Check out your local papers or local employer websites – they often advertise for participants.

Refresh and update your skills

If you have been out of work for any length of time, it’s useful to train and update your skills. Keeping your skills relevant also addresses the myth that older workers don’t want to undertake training, and shows any prospective employer that you are keen to learn, and have made an effort to do so. This is particularly appropriate if you have been with your last employer for quite a long time; chances are you are trained to suit their way of doing things, so a generic skills update could prove very useful.

Train for a change of career

Some industries are contracting in terms of numbers of workers required – for instance the car industry, print journalism, public service (administration, policy and program/project staff). If you are coming out of such an industry then it is wise to look at training for a change of career. Take the time to do some research and find out what the growth industries are in your area. Check out your local Chamber of Commerce site and the Local Government or Council site – they often provide information on developing local industries.

Train to be self-employed

If you have received a redundancy, you may consider training in a specific area that enables you to become self-employed. You can purchase a franchise, set up a business or simply contract out your new-found skills. The word ‘seniorpreneur’ has been created due to the number of older people turning into entrepreneurs. Self-employment is a good option for some.

The old adage ‘you can’t teach an old dog new tricks’ has never been further from the truth. More and more training organisations are seeing older people in their classes. Is it something you should consider?



Photographer: Carla Gottgens/Bloomberg

Signage featuring the words “Career Change” stands at a booth offering career advice at… Read More

Australia’s gyrating jobs figures are making it harder for the central bank and investors to gauge the impact of record-low interest rates on the nation’s economy.

The number of people employed fell by 29,700 last month after rising 32,100 in August, the statistics bureau said in Sydney today. It yesterday announced a review of methodology designed to smooth seasonal factors that produced a record 121,000 increase in jobs in August and would’ve shown a 172,000 loss in September.

“The admission of statistical discrepancies has essentially muddied the state of the labor market,” said Savanth Sebastian, an economist at a unit of Commonwealth Bank of Australia in Sydney. “Not only does it make it difficult for investors and analysts to get a clearer picture of employment growth, but it will result in Reserve Bank policy makers being more cautious when it comes to interest-rate decisions.”

The lack of labor market clarity complicates the central bank’s task of using a 2.5 percent cash rate to guide the economy toward domestically-driven growth that soaks up unemployed miners as a resource boom fades.

The bureau said today that in recent months key labor figures have shown “unusual volatility” and an investigation of the August data had identified “no systematic cause.” For the September numbers, the bureau found none of the previously observed seasonal movements, leading it to conclude that the adjustments made in the past weren’t appropriate for July, August and September. Instead, it opted to use raw numbers.

Current Investigation

It said the treatment of October data and future months “will depend on the estimates produced, the continuation of the current investigations and the outcome of the review.”

With the ABS to decide month by month how to treat its labor force survey results, financial markets and economists are “blind to any dramatic developments that genuinely occur in the real economy,” said Ben Jarman, a Sydney-based economist at JPMorgan Chase & Co. “With uncertainty around the labor survey dragging on, the hurdle rises for a change in the RBA cash rate.”

The Australian dollar fell immediately after the report before rebounding to trade at 88.57 U.S. cents at 1:48 p.m. in Sydney from 88.27 cents before the release. Traders are pricing in 2 basis points of reductions in the cash rate over the next 12 months, compared with 2 basis points of increases yesterday, according to an index of swaps from Credit Suisse Group AG.

The Reserve Bank of Australia has flagged a period of rates stability after reducing the benchmark to 2.5 percent last year as it seeks to avoid a growth gap emerging.

Unusually Volatile

“Labor market data have been unusually volatile of late,” RBA Governor Glenn Stevens said in a statement two days ago after leaving rates unchanged for a 14th month. “The bank’s assessment remains that although some forward indicators of employment have been firming this year, the labor market has a degree of spare capacity and it will probably be some time yet before unemployment declines consistently.”

Today’s report showed unemployment rose to 6.1 percent last month from 6 percent in August as the number of full-time jobs increased by 21,600, while part-time employment fell by 51,300. The participation rate, a measure of the labor force in proportion to the population, fell to 64.5 percent in September from 64.7 percent, the report showed.

One of Australia’s most important economic releases “now borders on being meaningless,” UBS AG Australian economist Scott Haslem said. “Further questioning the credibility in this data is the fact that the over the past three months, hours-worked in the economy fell at an annualised pace of more than 8 percent.”


Source:  Bloomberg News

A new study reveals the next generation of bosses will be different to the last.

baby boomer bosses

Baby boomer bosses are very traditional.

Think the boss of the future is going to be made in the model of the traditional and decisive baby boomer?

Think again.

While baby boomers have honed their skills in long-term thinking and motivating staff, Gen X and Y are doing things differently, a new report reveals.

A new report called The Great Generational Shift by recruitment firm Hudson analysed the leadership traits of 28,000 professionals globally, finding significant generational differences.

• Why Gen Y ‘slackers’ make good employees
• It’s over! Here’s how to break up with your boss
• Why coding is the new literacy

This comes as Generation Z enters the workplace, baby boomers begin to retire, and Gen X and Y step up.

The report paints a not-entirely favourable picture of some boomer bosses. While the benefits of greater experience cannot be understated, it says some boomer leaders have lower technical ability and fewer creative skills compared to the younger generations. Nearing the end of their career, they can also be less ambitious.

Hudson’s Regional Assessment Solutions Manager Dr Crissa Sumner says the new generations of leaders have a greater focus on the short-term, and are likely to lead by example. Both X and Y have strong people skills more likely to explain and relate than to persuade staff.

“We’ll see their strengths in conceptual and abstract thinking; their ability to connect the dots for others in the workplace and provide those meaningful insights for team members,” Dr Sumner says.

Developing in the fast moving digital age, Gen Y skills in particular are “potentially more relevant” for today’s business environment.

colleagues fighting

Defining a leader by generation

Baby boomer: Traditional leaders, decisive, motivating, persuasive and strategic
Generation X: Socially progressive, change-oriented and culturally sensitive
Generation Y: Abstract thinkers, meticulous, ambitious, socially confident

Dr Sumner says the research has dispelled many of the popular cliches around this generation of workers who rather than being lazy or self-centered and ambitious and people-oriented.

“What an organisation can expect is that Gen Y are likely to be leaders who are more visionary ‘thought’ leaders and role models,” she says.

“I think you can see the data links to what we are seeing in changes in the external environment, nowadays leaders don’t have to influence by information and facts, employees can get all that at their fingertips, they need someone to help them understand that data.”

In practice this means they are less hands-on and unlikely to micro-manage.

“We are seeing that Gen Y are less strategic,” Dr Sumner says.

“They are likely to keep the short-term and immediate needs as well as longer-term goals and that’s probably appropriate for today’s environment.”

But that doesn’t mean the baby boomers should be pushed out the door.

Dr Sumner says their traditional skills are going to continue to be essential for businesses.

Both Gen X and Y were lacking in these, with boomers continuing to have more power and influence over others.


“I think organisations are going to have to pair up boomers and Gen Y before those skills are lost,” Dr Sumner says.

Stuck in the middle, Gen X is the most socially progressive generation. Dr Sumner says it is the one who can smooth over relationships between the ambitious Gen Ys and the traditional boomers.

This is the most altruistic generation of leaders which the report describes as natural diplomats who are “wired, self-reliant” and “autonomous” leaders.

Generation clash: how to cope

Clashes between generations are not new. Boomers are found to be judgemental of younger generations, particularly around their work ethics, while Gen Y can be critical of out-of touch older workers.

The report says boomers will need to adjust expectations, Generation X will have to step up and use their diplomatic powers, and Generation Y will learn from the established skills of older workers.

“More than ever before, it is imperative that organisations understand the profound psychological differences in how the various generations think, act and lead,” says Simon Moylan, Hudson Executive General Manager of Talent Management – Asia-Pacific.

“Organisations need to understand what it is that motivates their employees and connect the dots between the motivational drivers of those in different ages and stages.”

Mr Moylan warns companies will also need to work out which are the best leaders, and skills, to take them into the future.

How to approach a boss from generation…

Baby boomer: recognise they are going to be more strategic, so you might need to talk longer-term as they may not pay as much attention to the short-term.

Gen X: this generation has a more flexible profile, so be open.

Gen Y: they have a preference for conceptual thinking, so talk big picture, don’t get down to the nitty gritty because you’ll lose them.

Gen Z: we don’t know anything about this generation yet, so be open-minded and don’t make assumptions.


Source:  The New Daily

Political Correspondent

A MASSIVE spending burden threatens to tip the nation into decades of deficits, according to new government findings that will be released early next year to jolt parliament — and the public — into accepting another wave of budget reform.

Setting a new strategy in the political fight over difficult ­savings, Joe Hockey has decided to hold back the official analysis to maximise its impact on national debate when parliament sits in February.

The findings will set off a debate over the nation’s long-term challenges by feeding into the tax reform white paper, which will consider the GST, and influencing the federation white paper on key issues such as the mounting cost of healthcare.

Mr Hockey considered publishing the long-range Intergenerational Report this year but rejected the option in favour of timing the new Treasury analysis to prepare the ground for further savings in the May budget.

The Treasurer, who is in New York and Washington this week for a series of meetings with business leaders and fellow finance ministers, warned of a “massive growth” in costs to be revealed in the IGR as the population ages and the commonwealth struggles to keep paying for the services Australians have come to expect.

“The IGR will come out early next year — not late this year but early next year,” Mr Hockey told The Australian. “That will create a framework that will help define the destiny of the federation white paper, the tax white paper and the budget next year.

“So it is a document that will begin the national discussion about where our economy must go — which is to focus on growth and jobs, and to reduce the complexity and red tape of government.”

Highlighting the cost of inaction on major savings, the report is likely to contrast the long-term improvements from the Coal­ition’s budget measures with the steady increase in government spending if Labor, the Greens and others succeed in permanently scuttling the reforms.

Bill Shorten has vowed to destroy the government’s budget reforms in the parliament and at the ballot box, branding the savings unfair because those on low incomes feel the biggest cuts as a proportion of their income.

“Why is it that this is a government who always asks the most vulnerable to do the hardest and heaviest lifting?” the Opposition Leader said in parliament last week.

The government appears set to use the IGR to shift focus away from the immediate losers from each measure and pay more attention to the risks to future generations from continuing deficits.

The new document is expected to influence some of the government’s most fundamental tasks in the rest of this parliamentary term, including the federation white paper, as it examines the long-term savings from cutting duplication between commonwealth and state spending in areas such as health and education.

It will also have a direct impact on the tax white paper, which will examine incendiary ideas such as an increase in the rate and base of the GST, as well as the wider search for new savings for the May budget next year.

Mandated under federal law to show the nation’s fortunes over 40 years, the IGR was last issued in January 2010 and sparked a furious debate about an estimate that the population would rise to 36 million by 2040.

Labor initially aimed to produce another report three years later but chose not to as the 2013 election loomed, leading Mr Hockey to consider releasing the sensitive forecasts sometime this year. But a Senate blockade has contributed to another delay as the government tries to secure some of its budget savings in the upper house against the objections of Labor, the Greens, the Palmer United Party and others. The savings being stymied are worth about $30 billion over four years but would have a far greater impact on the long-term projections by cutting outlays on Medicare benefits, universities, family tax benefits and pensions.

Mr Hockey said he would not speculate on whether the next report would show any improvement in the deep deficits projected in the last report, which warned of a “fiscal gap” from the strain of paying for services as the population ages.

The January 2010 report found that federal government spending would exceed revenue by 2.75 per cent of GDP in 2040 on existing trends, as relatively fewer taxpayers had to carry the burden for a growing number of pensioners. Labor acted on the problem by legislating a future increase in the pension age to 67 and applying stricter tests on family tax benefits, but those reforms are not enough to fix the gap. “What the IGR will do is illustrate that the massive growth in costs associated with an ageing population have simply become more urgent for Australia to address,” Mr Hockey said.

The Coalition is seeking to extend some of the Labor reforms by making further cuts to family tax benefits — saving $7.4bn over four years from benefits worth $70bn over the same period — and trying to increase the pension age to 70.

While the pension age reform delivers no saving in the budget forward estimates, it starts to take effect from 2034 and would make a significant difference to the IGR projections. Mr Hockey confirmed to The Australian that the government was thinking of using contrasting projections in the next IGR to show the impact of its budget reforms when compared with “business as usual” if the Senate continues to stymie the changes.

“That’s certainly under consideration,” he said in an interview ahead of his visit to the US this week.

“There are some people who need to be reminded how important the structural reforms in the last budget were, and how essential they are for Australia to be able to live within its means in the future.”

A spending gap of 2.75 per cent of GDP would produce a deficit of about $50bn a year in today’s dollars. Last year’s deficit was 2.8 per cent of GDP but the government wants to cut this to 1.6 per cent in 2014-15.