26 October 2017

Opinion piece, The Daily Telegraph

Having endured some tough times since the end of the mining boom, businesses are now starting to see the better days that I spoke about in this year's budget.

And they are responding in the best way possible - giving Australians jobs.

We are seeing improved economic conditions across the globe and a renewed optimism within our own economy.

And these better days ahead are being borne out.

Australia just experienced the strongest annual full time jobs growth on record - with 315,900 full time positions created in the last year and 371,500 jobs in total.

The unemployment rate last week fell to 5.5 per cent. That's the lowest rate in more than four years.

Nearly 20,000 new jobs were created in September, the 12th consecutive month of jobs growth, our longest run in over 23 years.

The rate of annual jobs growth is now above 3 per cent, more than fifteen times faster than in 2013, the year the Government came to office.

This is what happens when you make the choice to create the right conditions for businesses to invest and grow. And importantly to create more and better paid jobs.

As the Reserve Bank and market economists have said, we are also confident the strength we are seeing in the jobs market will ultimately lead to Australians receiving a well-earned pay rise. This is the emerging economic consensus.

Deloitte Access Economics chief economist Chris Richardson backs this assessment: "profits are up, jobs are up, and the next train to leave the station will be wages …. the job gains that have already occurred light the path for the turn in wage gains.''

We congratulate every single Australian who has gone out and gotten a job as well as the businesses that employed them. They've not only helped themselves and their families, they've helped ensure continued economic growth, the better days ahead.

This growth is happening in new, diverse ways.

The services sector accounts for almost 8 in every 10 jobs and this is where we are seeing the most jobs created. The strongest annual gains have been recorded in healthcare, education, retail trade and accommodation and food services. This is where the demand is.

The trend is clear and every day we are hearing the positive stories of those embracing the transition.

It's best shown by the story of the former Holden worker in South Australia who took a punt, retraining and getting a new job in disability services, which he's flourishing in.

Or the Holden auto parts supplier who diversified, creating a new business selling products to the booming food industry.

We need to ensure these sorts of transitions continue, so there's more jobs and higher wages in these growing industries.

Critical to this is providing certainty for investment and giving businesses the best possible conditions to make these transitions successful.

This is why we've acted on reducing taxes for small and medium businesses, which is helping to drive jobs growth.

Its why we have also acted on a National Energy Guarantee, recommended by the experts on the Energy Security Board, to provide reliable electricity and gas supply while putting further downward pressure on energy bills and meeting our emissions reduction targets.

Our National Energy Guarantee is also a guarantee for more jobs.

Labor's alternative plans do the exact opposite - risking jobs and growth.

Whether it's wanting to waste $66 billion on subsidies to gold plate renewable energy or hitting our economy with over $150 billion in higher taxes such as abolishing tax cuts for job creating small and medium businesses, Labor will kill the sort of investment we need and the jobs Australians would otherwise be getting into and keeping.

Labor bristle when the economy is doing well and people are getting jobs in record numbers. Because it doesn't suit their politics. It blunts their attack and proves the Turnbull Government's measures to boost growth are working.

The Turnbull Government's focus will remain on responsibly manage the economy to realise the better days that are ahead of us.