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Treasury officials admit mining jobs claims are a furphy

Senior Treasury officials in Senate estimates this morning have exposed as myth the claims about the overwhelming benefits of the mining boom.

“With welcome frankness, Treasury officials have said they are ‘suspicious’ about the standard industry multiplier claim that one job in mining creates three flow-on jobs in other industries,” Australian Greens mining spokesperson Senator Larissa Waters said.

Dr David Gruen, Executive Director of the Macro Economic Group, stated;

“In a well-functioning economy like ours, with unemployment close to its lowest sustainable rate, it is not the case that individual industries are creating jobs, they are simply re-distributing them... there really isn’t a multiplier.”

“The much-touted job creation of the mining boom is instead only jobs moving from one industry to another, sucking much-needed skilled workers from other sectors already doing it tough and creating no net jobs benefit,” Senator Waters said.

“The stock standard claim of industry that it “saved Australia from recession” was also seriously undermined when Treasury officials confirmed that the mining industry did not play a major role in averting a recession during the global financial crisis.

“Treasury also recognised that other sectors like manufacturing and tourism are under ‘profound competitive pressure’  from being exposed to the high Australian dollar, driven up by mining.

 “It is clear that these industry claims are unsupported, by fact and by Department officials – the Government should investigate and challenge these overblown assertions, and stop basing their economic policies and development decisions on industry spin.”

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