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How Many Jobs is 23,510, Really? Recasting the Mining Job Loss Debate

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  • Bruce Chapman

    () (Crawford School of Economics & Government, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia)

  • Kiatanantha Lounkaew

    (Crawford School of Economics & Government, Australian National University, Canberra, ACT, Australia)

Abstract

It is commonplace in Australian policy debate for groups presumed to be adversely affected by proposed policies to provide estimates of the undesirable consequences of change. A fashionable form relates to predictions of job losses for the group affected, usually accompanied by counter-claims made by the government of the day or other groups in favour of the policy. A highly public example of the above is the claim by the Minerals Council of Australia (MCA), based on work done in 2009 by Concept Economics (2009) that the then-planned Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) would result in 23,510 fewer jobs in Australian mining than would otherwise be the case. Our research reports on findings using three different data series and methods to put into context the supposed jobs loss figure. Our results should not be taken to mean that economic policy reform is costless to all employees who might be affected by sectoral changes in the labour market, and there remain clear roles for government to minimise the personal costs for those so disadvantaged. As well, the details of this research cannot be translated into precise analyses of the employment effects of the carbon price policy being developed by the current government. But the essential points concerning the size and meaning of mining sector employment effects should not be in dispute; the alleged "jobs losses" aspect of the climate change policy debate is not in any sense important to the overall discourse.

Suggested Citation

  • Bruce Chapman & Kiatanantha Lounkaew, 2011. "How Many Jobs is 23,510, Really? Recasting the Mining Job Loss Debate," CCEP Working Papers 1106, Centre for Climate Economics & Policy, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:een:ccepwp:1106
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    File URL: http://ccep.anu.edu.au/data/2011/pdf/wpapers/CCEP1106Chapman.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Robert E. Hall, 2005. "Job Loss, Job Finding, and Unemployment in the U.S. Economy Over the Past Fifty Years," NBER Working Papers 11678, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. John Baldwin & Timothy Dunne & John Haltiwanger, 1998. "A Comparison Of Job Creation And Job Destruction In Canada And The United States," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, pages 347-356.
    3. R. Quentin Grafton & Qiang Jiang, 2010. "Economics of Drought, Water Diversions, Water Recovery and Climate Change in the Murray‚ÄźDarling Basin," Centre for Water Economics, Environment and Policy Papers 1001, Centre for Water Economics, Environment and Policy, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    4. Natalia Ponomareva & Jeffrey Sheen, 2010. "Cyclical Flows in Australian Labour Markets," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 86(s1), pages 35-48, September.
    5. Steven J. Davis & John Haltiwanger, 1992. "Gross Job Creation, Gross Job Destruction, and Employment Reallocation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, pages 819-863.
    6. Robert Dixon & John Freebairn & Guay Lim, 2005. "An Examination of Net Flows in the Australian Labour Market," Australian Journal of Labour Economics (AJLE), Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre (BCEC), Curtin Business School, vol. 8(1), pages 25-42, March.
    7. Borland, Jeff, 1996. "Job Creation and Job Destruction in Manufacturing Industry in Australia," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 72(216), pages 46-62, March.
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    As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
    1. Bunch of New CCEP Working Papers
      by David Stern in Stochastic Trend on 2011-08-08 05:45:00

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    Cited by:

    1. Delina, Laurence L. & Diesendorf, Mark, 2013. "Is wartime mobilisation a suitable policy model for rapid national climate mitigation?," Energy Policy, Elsevier, vol. 58(C), pages 371-380.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • E24 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Employment; Unemployment; Wages; Intergenerational Income Distribution; Aggregate Human Capital; Aggregate Labor Productivity
    • E27 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Consumption, Saving, Production, Employment, and Investment - - - Forecasting and Simulation: Models and Applications
    • E60 - Macroeconomics and Monetary Economics - - Macroeconomic Policy, Macroeconomic Aspects of Public Finance, and General Outlook - - - General
    • J20 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - General
    • J23 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Demand
    • J60 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - General
    • Q48 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Energy - - - Government Policy
    • Q54 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Environmental Economics - - - Climate; Natural Disasters and their Management; Global Warming

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