Mr Morrison doesn’t believe his Treasurer’s budget numbers – or he is making things up

Tue, 29 Jan 2019  |  

Prime Minister Scott Morrison has given a commitment that a Coalition government would create 1.25 million new jobs over the next 5 years.

Specifically, Mr Morrison tweeted, “I’m making a new pledge for our Government, to see 1.25 million jobs created over the next 5 years”.

This is a bold claim on any measure. Alas for Mr Morrison, the claim is at odds with his Treasurer's recent MYEFO estimates which included a series of forecasts and projections for employment growth over those 5 years. It is easy to cross check. Using Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s forecasts in MYEFO, cumulative employment growth over the next 5 years will be just 954,000, some 296,000 below the figure that Mr Morrison seems to have plucked out of the air.

The 954,000 is calculated the following way:


December 2018 is the base or benchmark for the 1.25 million jobs to be created. Employment in December 2018 was 12.714 million.

Next step is to interpolate the MYEFO forecast for 1.75 per cent employment growth between the June quarter 2018 and the June quarter 2019 to get a June 2019 estimate for employment. 

Next add to that number 1.75 per cent employment growth for 2019-20, then add 1.5 per cent employment growth for each of the next 3 years to get an estimate for the level of employment in June 2023. 

To get the final 6 months of the 5 year projection, next add 0.75 per cent to that level (half the 1.5 per cent annual employment growth projected for 2023-24) to get an estimate for employment in December 2023 - 5 years from now.

There are some small - in fact tiny - rounding issues using estimates for quarterly employment levels to pin-point a monthly number in 5 years, but even rounding those estimate up, Mr Frydenberg’s MYEFO employment forecasts and projections suggest the Coalition would create just 954,000 jobs over the next 5 years.

I wonder where Mr Morrison got his numbers from? 

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