How Many Jobs Is 23,510, Really?

Bruce Chapman, Kiatanantha Lounkaew

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


    It is commonplace in Australian policy debate for groups presumed to be adversely affected by proposed policies to provide estimates of the undesirable consequences of change. A highly public example of the above is the claim by the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), based on work done in 2009 by Concept Economics (2009), that the then-planned Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) would result in 23,510 fewer jobs in Australian mining than would otherwise be the case. Our research reports findings using three different data series and methods, and presents analyses aimed at improving the understanding of, and putting into an aggregate economy context, the projected mining sector "job losses" as a result of the 2009 planned ETS. The essential points concerning the size and meaning of mining sector employment effects should not be in dispute; the alleged "jobs loss" aspect of the climate change policy debate is not in any sense important to the overall policy discourse. Our major motivation lies well beyond the potential mining jobs implications from the ETS, which is used only as an example to illustrate the use and misuse of employment data in policy debate.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)259-275
    JournalAustralian Journal of Labour Economics
    Issue number2
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


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