Lagging behind on workforce participation

Strong productivity growth is essential to Australia’s future prosperity. In 2005 Australia ranked number 10 in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report.  This is a global indicator of a country’s potential to attract capital investment and deliver growth on a sustainable basis. In 2008, we are number 18.
In Australia, workforce participation is low. Total workforce participation in Australia is only 64.4 per cent – with the male participation rate at 72 per cent and the female participation rate at 57 per cent.

This workforce participation places Australia at number 11 of the 28 countries examined, way below our trading partners.

In fact, the OECD has suggested that the low participation of women in the Australian workforce should be addressed by the government cutting their entitlement to taxpayer-funded childcare if they remain stay at home mums. 

The Global Competitiveness Report also provides a list of problematic factors for doing business in Australia.  Look what came out number one:

Restrictive labor regulations……………………………….16.3
Inadequate supply of infrastructure …………………….15.7
Inadequately educated workforce………………………..12.9
Inflation ………………………………………………………….11.6
Tax rates …………………………………………………………10.1
Inefficient government bureaucracy………………………8.6
Tax regulations …………………………………………………7.7
Access to financing…………………………………………….6.5
Poor work ethic in national labor force ………………….4.6
Policy instability…………………………………………………4.1
Foreign currency regulations………………………………..1.3
Crime and theft ………………………………………………….0.5
Corruption………………………………………………………….0.2
Government instability/coups ………………………………0.0
Poor public health………………………………………………..0.0

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