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Debunking the casualisation and job insecurity myths

21 June, 2018

The Australian Industry Group released a June 19 research paper which again debunks the persistent myth perpetrated by the ACTU that job insecurity and casualisation of work are increasing in Australia.

The paper, by Ai Group Chief Economist, Julie Toth, demonstrates that as a proportion of the workforce, casual work has fluctuated between 19% and 21% of the total workforce over the past two decades. It is about the same in 2018 (20.6%) as it was in 1998 (20.1%). Further, the proportion of the workforce expecting to be in the same job in a year's time has been steady at 90 percent of the workforce since the Australian Bureau of Statistics started collecting this data in 2001.

Commenting on the research, Ai Group Chief Executive, Innes Willox said: "It has been infamously said that if you repeat an untruth often enough people will believe it and you will even start believing it yourself. Despite the clear weight of evidence to the contrary, the ACTU seems determined to maintain that job insecurity and casualisation of work in Australia is increasing. Neither is true.

"The fact is that the rate of casual employment in Australia has been very stable for the past 20 years, at about 20% of the workforce. This rate is about the same today as it was in 1998. And the proportion of people expecting to be in their current job in one year's time has been unchanged for a similar period pointing to no change in job insecurity.

"To prop up its myth-making, the ACTU has now started to include part-time employees in their figures about so called 'precarious employment'. This is nonsense when, of course, the vast majority of part-time workers do not want to work full-time. Access to part-time work enables many Australians to participate in the workforce who would otherwise be unable or unwilling to participate including, for example, many women, older workers and students.

"Despite the preferences of most of the employees concerned, the ACTU seems intent on demonising casual and even part-time employment, perhaps because relatively few casual and part-time employees are union members," Innes Willox Chief Executive, Australian Industry Group said.

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