"Statistics Never Lie, or Do They?"

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There are some interesting outcomes emerging from a wash-up of the recent financial turmoil.

Australia has fared best among the Western countries, with its unemployment rate at only 5.3% and falling. But does this now mean you’ll start to see wage pressures emerging?

Or maybe the statistics are not telling you the full story.

h3. A Structural Change has occurred

Employment Trends

Employment Trends

Right now, one worker in three does so part-time in Australia — twice the rate of 30 years ago. And that means the average working week is now a record low of 31.9 hours.

One of the factors driving this has been many legal, accounting and manufacturing firms asking staff to reduce their working hours — in lieu of firing them at the height of the turmoil, in late 2008 and early 2009.

A number of those workers seem to have adjusted to the new arrangement, and now seemed to quite like it.

However, it also means there is a hidden capacity within the workforce — despite the apparent low unemployment figure.

NEXT WEEK: Is the RBA is asleep at the wheel?

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