As a veteran entrepreneur and financial educator participating in several Australian industries, Roy McDonald is a strong believer that continued economic growth in the country is dependent on the individual prosperity that Australian citizens are able to enjoy. Of course, while consumer confidence is crucial to improving the domestic economy, such strength and economic vitality is not possible without a viable job market.
The Current State of Employment in Australia
According to Roy McDonald, while there has been considerable growth in specific industries within Australia, particularly those focused on startup ventures, overall reports suggest that many citizens may be facing one of the lowest periods of job growth in the past 17 years.
Expanding on these recent developments, one article from The Guardian explains:
“Australia had its worst 12 months for jobs growth for 17 years in 2013, sparking talk of an interest rate cut and a political blame game. Employment fell by 22,600 in December but a plunge in participation kept the jobless rate steady at 5.8 per cent.
While Labor blamed the Abbott government for inaction over the economy, the Coalition said the opposition was standing in the way of its economic reform. The economy added only a net 55,000 jobs over the whole of 2013. The loss of 31,600 full-time jobs last month was partly offset by the addition of 9,000 part-time jobs. The participation rate fell to 64.6 per cent in December – the lowest it has been since the Howard government was in office in 2006.
The figures saw the Australian dollar fall sharply to its lowest level since 2010. The currency fell from 88.94 US cents before the release of the figures to 88.02 US cents at lunchtime before recovering slightly to 88.13 cents on Thursday evening.”
The Factors Behind Staggered Job Growth in Australia
With economic projections emerging that suggest Australia is on its way to slow growth in 2014 and the years to follow, it may be confusing to many citizens as to why job growth remains stagnant. While specific industrial growth plans and political factors are noted to hold some influence over employment rates, Roy McDonald also expresses the importance of recognizing the ways the global economy impacts such slow job growth in Australia.
As noted above, recent initiatives spurred by the Federal Reserve in the United States have increased the value of the U.S. dollar, and thus weakened the overall value of the Australian dollar. While just a small example, this indirect impact of the changes in the globalized economy could result in not only further obstacles for job growth in Australia, but also potential pay cuts.
According to McDonald, it is important for all consumers to understand how other global influences can impact future job creation in Australia, including:
In recent years, many startups—particularly those in the tech industry—have grown within the domestic market and evolved to seek greater progress with Silicon Valley players and UK partnerships. Those who maintain operations in Australia are able to launch their startups in home territory, employ locals and increase the country’s position as a global leader—especially if they export their product to foreign markets.
In the tech startup world, “intangible exports” have become common, such as through apps and Web-based platforms that serve professionals all over the globe. In addition, minerals and agriculture remain top exports to foreign economies. The proliferation of these goods and services into foreign markets creates a need for more jobs in Australia, and allows more professionals to advance their careers in their home economy.
While Australia has many booming startups on the horizon, it still remains noted that the country’s economy is heavily influenced by its need to import goods from foreign producers. For instance, one article reveals, “Australia imports a number of primary, secondary and tertiary products and services.Crude petroleum makes up the bulk of the primary imports, while computers and cars make up the majority of the secondary goods we import.”
Focusing on energy-related imports, Roy McDonald explains that while there is still a need for crude in Australia, the need to bring in foreign markets may be short lived. Green industry initiatives—backed by many government programs—are expanding and allowing the country to develop more sustainable solutions for the future that may reduce Australia’s economic dependence on imported commodities.
Job Growth in Australia Must Come From Australians
While there are many global factors that influence job growth in Australia, McDonald believes it is critical to continue encouragement of domestic startups and self-made entrepreneurs. He explains that individuals that discover ways to create wealth through these endeavors and strive to serve the Australian market first, have a profound and positive impact on the way jobs are created.
As such, Roy McDonald and his team at OneLife Group are focused on educating clients on ways they can become their “own bosses” by starting the own businesses, and possibly play a part in creating new jobs in the Australian employment market.