ABC radio interview on unemployment, the 4% target and the four pillars plan

I was interviewed this morning by Steve Austin on 612 ABC Brisbane regarding yesterday’s unemployment figures, particularly what they mean for the Government’s four pillars plan and its 4% unemployment rate target:

Jump in employment questioned

I reiterated the point I made in my blog post yesterday (4% unemployment rate target looking much less achievable now) about the difficulty of achieving and sustaining the Government’s 4% unemployment rate target. I also tried to make the points, not as lucidly as I would have wished, that:

  • the unemployment rate is determined by a lot of factors outside of the State Government’s control (e.g. monetary policy set by the RBA is obviously important, as is the growth of our major trading partners), and
  • the four pillars plan isn’t really a detailed economic strategy but more of a rhetorical device to show the Government’s commitment to what it sees as important sectors – the sectors that it expected (incorrectly, it now appears) to generate a large number of jobs. Hence, I don’t think it makes much sense to evaluate whether the four pillars plan is successful. It makes more sense instead to evaluate the Government’s budget strategy and red tape and green tape reduction strategies, for example, which are more specific than the high-level four pillars plan.
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