Cairns Post and more nonsense

A piece in today’s Cairns Post leaves us scratching our head, thinking “where do they get this stuff from?”. Without quoting any sources it makes it hard to know where Peter Michael (a Nick Dalton apprentice perhaps?) gets his information from; what we can say is that none of it is correct.
So let’s take it one bit at a time; Michael claims that Cairns has the nation’s highest youth unemployment rate at 21.6%. This initial contention can easily be shown to be nonsense. There are any number of ways that youth (15-24yrs) unemployment can be measured (see our previous posts on the subject), but not one of them gives a rate of 21.6% for the most recent month of April. This makes it impossible to work out where Michael’s “data” is coming from. The monthly ABS youth unemployment rate is 18.1% and this puts Cairns in 16th place nationally behind places such as Ballarat (26.2%), Ipswich (20.9%) and Bendigo (23.2%) to name a few. The Brotherhood of St Laurence have been using a 12 month moving average which is currently 21.8% for Cairns (so I’m guessing that this is where Michael gets his inaccurate data from), but this is a grossly distorted number. We much prefer the Conus Trend series which currently sits at 19.2%.
The article then goes on to state that “more than one out of every five residents aged between 22 and 30 is unemployed.”. This is just garbage! We assume that Michael is confusing youth unemployment with the “22-30” year age group (for which, incidentally data is not available from the ABS). While the unemployment rate for the 15-24 group (youth) is 18.1%, the unemployment rate for the 25-34 years group is just 6.2%. There would have to be something very strange going on with those numbers to somehow get a rate for the “22-30” group at more than 20%!!
Youth unemployment in Cairns is high; too high. But the Cairns Post needs to be much more careful with its data before it starts bagging the city as the nation’s worst. We can only assume that they are somehow being fed “data” by the Brotherhood of St Laurence (who have a very particular axe to grind); it’s time the Post started checking their data (and quoting sources!).

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