Economic writer for The Guardian Australia, Greg Jericho, says despite reports of an economic bounce back, the post-pandemic economy is a “horror show”.
Speaking with On the Job with Francis Leach & Sally Rugg, the experienced journalist and blogger painted a grim picture, “Full time employment has really gone to hell. The big story is that part-time employment has kind of recovered, but full-time employment is down three to four per cent on where it was in March.
“That always happens in recessions, and the worry is that it never really recovers.
“It certainly didn’t after the 1980s recession, after the 1990s recession, after the GFC.
“It never recovers, and that seems to be where we’re going, especially because the government seems to be quite happy with that scenario”.
With a clear trend developing towards part-time or more ‘flexible’ employment, Jericho remains resolutely cautious when talking about increases in employment figures. He explained, “All recessions naturally lead to less full-time employment.
“The government doesn’t seem so much to be concerned about that and is quite happy to talk about increases in employment, ignoring the fact that eighty to ninety per cent of it is actually part-time employment that has improved since the depths of May and June.
“It’s just something that is baked into our system… it’s not just something that’s occurred because of the pandemic.
“It’s something that was behind all of the John Howard IR restructuring towards more part-time, temporary work that has less ongoing commitments from employers to workers.
“Now we see it put in overdrive with things like the gig economy where they’re not even classed as employees”.
Faced with such a challenging outlook of our economy, Jericho sees secure employment, wage growth and stronger unions as essential to Australia’s economic recovery.
“I think we talk a lot about getting us back to where we were, but we’ve got to really acknowledge that where we were wasn’t all that great.
“We should be wanting to get back to a better situation”.