It’s just a shame that Rudd had to waste billions of dollars on impotent fiscal policy, it’s a double-shame that he will get the credit for a recovery that was always on the cards, and it’s a triple-shame that the hangover from the fiscal policy will lead to a slightly slower economic growth. Still, good news is good news, and low unemployment is worth celebrating.
But a work-mate just pointed out an interesting factoid.
Over the past quarter there has been a rapid increase in the number of people going on the Disability Support Pension (DSP). This makes sense. In a downturn, it becomes relatively more attractive to get DSP payments and so we are hit with an epidemic of “bad backs” and “depression”.
I decided to check the consequences of the “DSP mini-boom” on the unemployment number. DSP recipients don’t count towards unemployment… But without DSP, those people would have been on Newstart Allowance, and would be counted as unemployed.
The conclusion was that without the DSP mini-boom, the unemployment rate would still be 5.8%.