Fact sheet

Fact Check: Was 2017 a record calendar year for jobs growth?

Liberal Party of Australia Job creation
In a doorstop interview, Treasurer Scott Morrison claimed 2017 was a record calendar year for jobs growth, with 400,000 jobs created in the year. RMIT ABC Fact Check found Mr Morrison's claim is oversimplified. The Treasurer accurately quoted the increase in the number of jobs in 2017, and it was indeed the largest increase in the raw number in a calendar year since records began, but by concentrating on the raw figure, Mr Morrison ignores the size of the labour market in previous calendar years. Experts said measuring the proportional increase yields a much better comparison between different years, as the numbers naturally increase over time as the economy and population grow. This, they said, would be a much better measure of the "strongest" growth. In 2017, Australia recorded an increase in employed persons of 3.35 per cent, but other calendar years recorded much larger proportional increases, even if the raw number was smaller. But when it came to the employment to population ratio, which accounts for population growth, 2017's increase of 1.64 percentage points is beaten by a number of other years, notably 1994, which recorded an increase of 2.50 percentage points. Whilst these figures show that 2017 was undoubtedly a strong year for jobs growth, the idea that it was the "strongest calendar growth in jobs we have seen on record" is not borne out by all of the data.
Verdict: Oversimplified
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