Australian statistics show collapse in manufacturing, mounting jobs crisis


Australian statistics show collapse in manufacturing, mounting jobs crisis

Oscar Grenfell

27 October 2017

Reports released in recent weeks have underscored the destruction of manufacturing jobs, enforced by successive Australian governments and the corporatised trade unions, and a deepening jobs crisis, especially for young people.

Data from the 2016 census, released this week, showed that the number of manufacturing jobs fell by 24 percent over the preceding five years. The sector now accounts for just 6.4 percent of total employment, the lowest level in history, down by 2.6 percentage points since 2011.

This month’s annual Jobs Availability Snapshot, conducted by the Anglicare charity, found an average of almost five applicants for every entry-level job across the country.

The reports puncture the claims by the Liberal-National government and the corporate elite, based on understated jobs figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics, that employment is rising.

The census indicated there were just 683,688 workers employed in manufacturing in 2016, including in part-time roles, down from 902,826 in 2011. The precipitous decline is the result of an ongoing offensive by the major corporations, Labor and Liberal-National governments at the state and federal level, and the unions, against the working class.

The fall was even starker in working class areas that were once industrial hubs. In the New South Wales Illawarra region, centred on Wollongong, south of Sydney, manufacturing jobs fell by 36 percent from 11,858 in 2011 to just 7,000 last year.

Wollongong was previously a steel manufacturing centre. In 2011, shortly after that year’s census, BlueScope Steel announced 1,300 sackings at the city’s Port Kembla steelworks.

The cuts, which followed decades of layoffs…

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