Have 95 per cent of the jobs created in the past year been full-time positions?

By Tiffanie Turnbull and Louise Evans

The Statement

“Ninety-five per cent of the jobs created in the past year have been full time.”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison. May 12, 2019.

The Analysis

Prime Minister Scott Morrison claimed at the election campaign launch on May 12 that under his government the economy and growth was stronger with 1.3 million more Australians in jobs. [1]

AAP FactCheck examined the PM’s claim that 95 per cent of jobs created in the past year have been full-time positions.

Outgoing jobs minister Kelly O’Dwyer made the same claim in April, warning jobs growth and the economy would be “at risk” under Labor. [2]

Work and wage insecurity has been an election issue with Labor leader Bill Shorten announcing a plan to legislate a worker’s right to request a conversion from casual employment to permanent status. The Australian Council of Trade Unions has also been running television ads on the over-casualisation of the workforce. [3] [4]

The most recent Australian Bureau of Statistics labour force data from March 2019 shows the total number of employed people in Australia is 12,791,500, an increase of 304,700 on the 12,486,800 number of people in work in March last year. Full-time employment grew from 8,508,500 to 8,798,300 over the same period, up 289,800. The data shows 289,800 - 95.1 per cent - of the total 304,700 new jobs created were full-time positions. [5]

However, in the 2018 calendar year, the number of jobs grew from 12,480,100 in January to 12,720,500, an increase of 240,400 jobs. Full-time employment during that same period rose by 174,800 jobs - from 8,511,700 to 8,686,500 - meaning only 72.7 per cent of the total jobs created in 2018 were full time. [5]

In the 2017-18 financial year, it was less again at 57.5 per cent. Employment grew by 312,700, from 12,264,600 to 12,577,300. The number of full time jobs went up 179,700, from 8,391,000 to 8,570,700. [5]

Based on this evidence AAP FactCheck found Mr Morrison’s claim to be true but misleading. Selecting the March 2018 - March 2019 figures puts the government’s record of jobs and growth in a favourable light. However, calendar and financial figures tell a more negative story.

The Verdict

  • Misleading - The claim is true but somewhat misleading.

The References

1.‘PM announces first-home scheme at Liberal party campaign launch – as it happened. Australian politics live’, by Amy Remeikis. May 12, 2019: https://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/live/2019/may/12/federal-campaign-2019-liberals-officially-launch-campaign-politics-live?page=with:block-5cd781288f08ea3978d84d8c#liveblog-navigation

2 ‘Jobs wins 'at risk' under Labor: minister’’. AAP. April 18, 2019: https://www.9news.com.au/national/jobs-wins-at-risk-under-labor-minister/0d926eee-360b-4cbc-9f94-9d9e9ff1b776

3. ‘Labor's casual conversion bill not expected to 'open the floodgates'’. by Anna Patty. Sydney Morning Herald. April 24, 2019: https://www.smh.com.au/business/workplace/labor-s-casual-conversion-bill-not-expected-to-open-the-floodgates-20190424-p51gy6.html

4. ‘New TV Ads - Change the Government to Change the Rules’. Australian Council of Trade Unions: https://www.australianunions.org.au/this_is_not_australia

5. ‘Table 1, Columns C and L. Labour force status by Sex, Australia - Trend, Seasonally adjusted and Original’. Data series A84423043C and A84423041X. Australian Bureau of Statistics: http://www.abs.gov.au/AUSSTATS/abs@.nsf/DetailsPage/6202.0Mar%202019?OpenDocument

  • First published May 13, 2019 17:10 AEST