Unions have launched a scathing attack on the Turnbull government’s “purely superficial” achievement of creating one million jobs in five years.
The government loudly trumpeted reaching the jobs milestone last month, describing it as an excellent outcome for Australian workers and families.
But the Australian Council of Trade Unions insists the “meaningless and misleading” achievement was propped up by an explosion in temporary visa holders filling new jobs.
It claims the Turnbull government’s “true” jobs legacy is underpinned by a crisis in insecure work, a collapse in wage growth, and a failure to meaningfully reduce the unemployment rate.
In the latest plank of its ongoing “Change The Rules” workplace relations campaign, the ACTU has released a new report tearing shreds off the employment milestone.
Its report points out one million jobs have been added in five years on multiple occasions over the past 30 years, and paints the coalition’s recent milestone as even less impressive due to population growth.
It has also seized on confirmation at a recent Senate Estimates hearing that about half of the one million jobs were filled by temporary visa workers.
“The Turnbull government has talked a lot about job creation but has done nothing to improve the job prospects or job security of working people,” ACTU Secretary Sally McManus said on Thursday.
“Multiple Australian governments have ‘created’ as many jobs as the Turnbull government, all at times when the working population was smaller, and without the explosion in insecure work or half the jobs going to people on temporary visas.”
The ACTU is concerned the unemployment rate remains stubbornly high and the workforce participation rate has barely budget over the past five years.
It is also worried the jobs milestone masks ongoing issues with insecure employment and stagnant wage growth.