June 01, 2009 | Graham

Unemployment looms as major concern

(Cross posted from What the people want)
While a little fewer people are worrying about the economy, many more worry about jobs now than they did 7 months ago, according to our research. In October last year 25.2% worried about the economy, and that has dropped by four percentage points to 21.1%.
However, seven months ago only 2.5% mentioned jobs as an important issue. That is now 11.9%, almost a five-fold increase. Together Jobs and Economy account for around 30% of responses, two-and-a-half times the number that mention Climate Change (change in the table) or Warming.
Debt is also another term that has risen quickly. In fact, it was completely absent from the lists last year which were compiled before the various government stimulus packages.
This table shows our poll results and how the issues have moved over the last 7 months.
Another significant move is in the decrease in mentions of Financial and Crisis. It seems that more respondents are looking inwards at how we manage our economy (Management makes its first appearance on this list), rather than outwards. This implies that voters are starting to see Australia more as in command of its own destiny rather than a passive recipient of circumstances created abroad.
When you dissect these issues by voting intention it helps to explain the position of the government and opposition. While both Labor and Liberal voters are concerned about the Economy, for Labor voters the next most important issue is Jobs, followed by Global and then Change. For Liberal voters it is Economy, followed by Debt, then Jobs. Change, as in climate change is a concern for less than 2% of them.
So Labor voters are still very concerned about climate change and are more inclined to blame the crisis for our problems, while Liberal voters are fretting about debt, are less worried about their jobs and have climate change almost at the bottom of their list of concerns.
The Leximancer Map below gives an overview of how the issues work together.

Posted by Graham at 6:56 am | Comments (2) |
Filed under: Uncategorized


  1. Unemployment in NSW is predicted to be over 9% by the end of 2009.At this rate it will be easily 14% in another 12 mths.The stimulus packages are not working,and we need a leader who can inspire some confidence in the local market,since we are now on a serious downward spiral,feeding off it’s own dismal expectation.
    The RBA cannot lower interest rates much more but I doubt even 0% rates will stimulate much activity.This is also a crisis of confidence as well as monetary failure.
    This is why Kevin is pushing for a double dissolution.All the Opposition has to do is play with Kevin,feigning resistance,then give him no excuses to call one.
    Kevin will win this yr but next yr will see a very dis-illusioned electorate go to the polls.

    Comment by Arjay — June 1, 2009 @ 1:28 pm

  2. When unemployment is rising and the private sector investment for jobs is slow, as it will be for years, then the government as an employer can increase jobs at the National, state and local and community level..a better
    method of stimulus.
    The Rudd government moves in this direction, but could well examine Professor Bill Mitchell’s policies to create jobs and the Job guarantee
    Chris White Online has posted a new item, ‘Job guarantee’
    The Job Guarantee strategy is to reduce chronic joblessness which has wrecked
    families across Australia since the neo-liberal attack on full employment began
    in the mid-1970s and is essential for the Rudd government to create jobs in this
    This is the creation of ‘public good’ jobs to provide work for the
    unemployed. Professor Bill Mitchell’s ideas are commented on.
    You may view this post at

    Comment by Chris White — June 8, 2009 @ 5:19 pm

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