Government accused of distorting job survey results

Only 22 per cent of employers contacted for the jobs survey said they were recruiting (Bigstock)

Claims that business owners are struggling to recruit staff because of a lack of applications are based on a handful of responses from among 2324 surveyed employers. Source: The Guardian.

By Daniel Hurst, The Guardian.

Critics including Labor and the Greens have accused the Morrison Government of amplifying anecdotal reports about jobseekers turning down work in an apparent effort to lay the groundwork to cut government support payments. Kate Carnell, the small business ombudsman, said the majority of people wanted to work.

The Government released new data from the National Skills Commission yesterday that indicated some businesses had reported a shortage of applicants for jobs.

But a close analysis of those figures shows that of the 2324 employers contacted for the survey, only about 22 per cent of them (514) said they were recruiting. Of those 514 employers who were recruiting, 27 per cent (139) reported that they were having – or expected to have – difficulty recruiting staff.

Of those 139 having difficulty, just over 50 per cent (or 72) cited lack of applicants as a reason. Other factors cited in lower numbers included that applicants lacked experience, employability skills or technical skills.

Employment Minister Michaelia Cash said it was “time for jobseekers to start to re-engage with the job market” – prompting Labor’s employment spokesman, Brendan O’Connor, to accuse her of “cherry-picking data in order to demonise jobseekers” when the employment market had collapsed.


‘Deeply hurtful’ claims of Australian jobseekers turning down work are based on scant evidence (The Guardian)


Jobless opt for dole as businesses struggle to find workers despite unemployment surge (The Australian)

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