Hon Angus Taylor MP

Shadow Treasurer

Member for Hume

Senator the Hon Michaelia Cash

Shadow Minister for Employment and Workplace Relations
Deputy Leader of the Opposition in the Senate

Senator for Western Australia


16 February 2023


The Albanese Government’s clear lack of any plan to deal with the challenges of the Australian economy was illustrated again today as the latest labour force figures show a worrying rise in unemployment.

The unemployment rate unexpectedly jumped to 3.7% in January, with 43,300 full time jobs lost. Part-time employment increased by 31,800 leaving an overall decrease in employment of 11,500 jobs. The participation rate decreased to 66.5%.

Shadow Treasurer Angus Taylor said the jobs data out today is showing the early signs of a very dangerous combination – stubbornly persistent inflation alongside job losses.

“We know from history just how dangerous high inflation and jobs losses, known as stagflation, can be,” Mr Taylor said.

“The Treasurer doesn’t want to talk about how dangerous this combination is, but it’s very real. Labor’s natural instinct to fix an economic problem is to borrow more money. This is exactly the wrong instinct.

“Australians are already paying a high price thanks to a government which is getting all the big economic calls wrong,” Mr Taylor said.

Shadow Minister for Employment Senator Michaelia Cash said: “These are worrying signs for Australian businesses and workers in the first month following the introduction of Labor’s so-called secure jobs, better pay industrial relations bill.’’

“What is clear is that some Australian workers no longer have secure jobs,’’ Senator Cash said

“We know that major employers across the country warned the radical industrial relations laws could lead to job losses in the economy,’’ she said.

“I think you are seeing businesses react to the difficult economic circumstances and they are not confident about what the future holds, particularly in the industrial relations space,’’ she said.

“One of the big tests for Labor is to maintain Australia’s high level of employment which was the result of policies put in place by the former Coalition Government,’’ Senator Cash said.

Senator Cash said there was also a level of uncertainty in the business community about further industrial relations changes foreshadowed by the Albanese Government, which Minister Burke himself has described as “controversial”.

“Along with their radical IR laws, these types of uncertainties like decimating the labour hire market and their attack on the gig economy and casual work mean we can expect fewer jobs and no increase in wages,’’ Senator Cash said.