Western Australian Labor leader Mark McGowan on the campaign trail.
AAP Image/Rebecca Le May
In the lead up to the state election, Western Australian Labor leader Mark McGowan said WA has the highest unemployment rate in Australia. Is that correct?
Stories can have a profound effect on our behaviour.
History shows us that narratives play an important role in market behaviour. But new research shows that all it takes is a simple story that matches our preconceived notions.
We need to account for the benefit we get from nature.
When we don't factor in the environment in our economic decision making, we aren't getting an acurate picture of what's happening. Australia needs to adopt more environmental economics.
Labour force surveys and the Census just aren’t getting it right when it comes to the crucial task of measuring employment.
The ABS' labour force survey is more than 50 years old. We need a new way of measuring employment for a new modes of work.
Labor’s Brendan O'Connor said fewer people are seeking work.
AAP Image/Mick Tsikas
Shadow minister for employment Brendan O'Connor said the labour force participation rate was in "free fall" and that this showed "people have stopped looking for work". Is that true?
Labor’s Chris Bowen says Australian workers are doing it tough.
AAP Image/Tracey Nearmy
Shadow treasurer Chris Bowen said Australian wages growth is at record lows. Is that true?
If enough people from a particular group don’t complete the Census, it can disrupt the data.
If the response rate to the 2016 Census is lower than expected, it could compromise our ability to draw meaningful information from the data.
What really caused the Census servers to crash?
The evidence the Census servers suffered a DDoS attack is weak. A simpler explanation is that they buckled under load of Australians filling out their Census forms as asked.
If you only consider average depth, you could drown at the deepest point.
Even without a DDoS attack, the 2016 Census may have failed due to the ABS making a rudimentary statistical error.
This is the screen that greeted many Australians on Census night, 9 August 2016.
Despite assuring Australians its systems were load tested and secure, the Census site went offline at a crucial time. Could the ABS have avoided such an embarrasing failure?
The ABS has announced that it will retain the names and addresses collected in the 2016 Census.
By linking censuses through time or by combining other information with the census, many more important policy questions can be answered than if we used one dataset alone.
Employment growth does not equal ‘jobs creation’.
AAP Image/Joel Carrett
Politicians all too often use monthly jobs numbers to infer that the other mob is doing a bad job or that they are doing a great job at managing the economy. But that's a flawed use of the data.
A 4.4% drop in business investment activity has caused alarm.
Business investment fell by 4.4%, with non-mining sectors slow to take up the slack left by resources.
Census collectors go door to door in Sydney in 2011, the 100th year of census taking in Australia. Now the next census, due in 2016, is in doubt.
Before Australia proceeds with plans to devote fewer resources to a less frequent national census, we should consider the Canadian experience of what losing such rich data means.
How can we assess whether or not Australian cultural policies work if we don’t have the data to measure participation?
AAP Image/Nikki Short
The results of the latest cultural participation survey conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics show how valuable the data really is.
Australia’s census covers a wide range of topics, including some that are very infrequently covered by other surveys.
If reports are to be believed, both the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) and the federal government are strongly considering moving from a five-year to a ten-year census cycle. This move has been…
Queensland’s debt: is it sky high, or under control? An economist shows what you need to know to judge for yourself.
How much debt is Queensland really in? How much of that debt can past Labor governments bear responsibility for, and has the current Liberal National government cut or added to it? And how does Queensland’s…
If we want to know whether screening saves lives, we need to show a reduction in the cancer death rate rather than an increase in the survival rate.
Cancer screening is beneficial when it’s able to prevent people dying from cancer. And it should clearly be adopted where there’s evidence showing this. But using cancer survival rates to promote screening…
Finding a job can be hard work – luckily, knowing which unemployment figures to pay attention to is much easier.
AAP Image/Joel Carrett
Queensland unemployment recently plummeted – or did it? Whether you’re a Queenslander getting ready to vote in the January 31 state election, or simply someone interested in employment trends in Australia…
Alternatives to GDP are already in use, but are yet to gain widespread acceptance.
Image sourced from www.shutterstock.com
“At present, we are stealing the future, selling it in the present, and calling it GDP.” — Paul Hawken Imagine if a corporation used Gross Domestic Product (GDP) accounting to do its books: it would be…