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Thursday, 13 August 2020 13:40

Private sector jobs ‘destroyed’ while public sector adds jobs, claims IPA Featured


More than 604,000 private sector jobs have been “destroyed” since lockdowns were introduced in March while 14,000 jobs have been added to the public sector, according to the Institute of Public Affairs.

 The IPA said on Thursday that private sector jobs declined by 5% between 14 March and 25 July while public sector jobs increased by 1.7%.

The IPA based its comments on an analysis of Australian Bureau of Statistics data released on Thursday which it said shows that:

  • This means that 604,312 private sector jobs were destroyed while 13,989 jobs were added in the public sector between 14 March and 25 July.
  • The loss of 604,312 private sector jobs translates into $725 million in lost wages each week.
  • The gain of 13,989 jobs in the public sector translates into $21 million in additional wages paid each week.
  • Applied from 14 March to 25 July, this indicates that the private sector lost $14.5 billion in wages while the public sector gained $420 million in wages.
  • Public sector jobs are defined as those in the “public administration and safety” industry, as classified by the ABS. Workers in these industries are not front-line medical staff who are instead counted in the “heath care and social assistance” industrial classification.

The IPA’s Research Fellow Cian Hussey said: “The differences between the two Australias have never been so stark. Those working in the public sector have been insulated from the job losses occurring in the productive, private sector.”

“It is clear that we are not all in this together. There is no concept of shared sacrifice amongst the public sector workforce.”

“The Australian way of life, which is based on hard work, aspiration, reward for effort, and entrepreneurship will endure, but it is under attack like never before.”

Hussey also said that “not only are public sector workers better off than private sector workers, but it is those in the public sector who decide when those in the private sector can go back to work”.

“This is a serious moral hazard where those responsible for imposing the lockdown measures do not suffer the consequences of those measures,” Hussey warned, commenting that “all politicians and senior public servants earning over $150,000 a year should take an immediate 20% pay cut to share in the sacrifice made by the private sector”.

“By refusing to acknowledge the suffering that mainstream Australians in the private sector are experiencing, politicians and senior public servants are compounding the differences between the two Australias,” Hussey concluded.

The IPA cited its previous research which found that 74% of Australians support a 20% pay cut for politicians and senior public servants who are paid $150,000 or more.

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired and is a "volunteer" writer for iTWire. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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