Jollybagman (no offence to Grumpy Old former AWU Bagman) with comments on 457 Visas
This is from one of the nation's most prolific political commentators, our very own χαρούμενος άνθρωπος τσάντα
This week i saw something i never ever thought i'd see in politics (in fact same could be said of the last 3 Gillard years).
There was employment growth of about 77,000 jobs (17k of them full time). It was the biggest monthly jobs growth (February) since 2000.
Usually a sitting government would be jumping up and down gloating about this during an election year.
However, after Gillard spent the last fortnight xenophobically talking down the 457 visa program, justifying this by saying low post-GFC employment growth means there is no longer skill shortage, along comes 77,000 jobs growth in a month.
Gillard managed to create a situation where the government could not even gloat about good jobs numbers in an election year, because in doing so totally debunks the xenophobia-mongering 457 visa stance. A situation i've never seen before; hence the further talk about leadership.
I don't believe for a moment the 77k jobs growth is a trend. However there can't be such jobs numbers without a skills shortage. In fact skills shortage problem in Australia started arising way back in the early 1990s.....
This is a great article by Dennis Shanahan putting everything into its proper perspective. He is a very balanced reporter and gave Gillard a decent run in the past.