User Comments

elishatraill July 7, 2020

@laura__palmer I’m not referring to anecdotes.  Like I’ve already said, I don’t think that the number of jobs advertised on is an accurate count of available jobs. Surely journalists are able to use the more sophisticated economic metrics available.  

elishatraill July 6, 2020

@laura__palmer I accept that as per our previous conversation and is why I do support a permanent increase in jobseeker (or whatever it’s original name was).  I’ve been trying to point out though that there might be some consequences to doing this.  I guess the fundamental disagreement we have is about the metrics of how unemployment is measured (I just don’t agree with the statement “there are no jobs” - I think the situation is more complex than that). In any case, thank you for your thoughtful responses.

elishatraill July 6, 2020

@david s My husband and I have talked about this a lot.  Full credit to him (and me!), we do share life’s workload equitably - paid and unpaid. It’s just that I’ve had significant health issues over the years, one of our children has autism and work has been volatile for both of us.  Normal life stuff, no one’s fault, but sometimes I’ve wondered if I’m ever going to have the energy to do anything interesting  ever again. We are in the process of changing things up to make life better for the both of us but there are a LOT of balls in the air!

elishatraill July 4, 2020

@iknowitsserious I love my kids immeasurably but I never anticipated how difficult it would be.  I’m glad women are starting to be able to be honest about it.

elishatraill July 4, 2020

@cat I think the large number of replies I’ve made in this thread to a variety of people makes it clear that I’m very comfortable having my assertions challenged - it is the fundamental purpose of participating in such a forum.  In answer to your questions:

(1) yes. It literally doesn’t matter to an employer WHY a person turns up to work, just that they are productive when they do.
(2) generally yes. Issues around motivation to work and long term unemployment are complex and sometimes tied to other aspects of social disadvantage and barriers (as I’ve mentioned in other comments). However, I think that SOME people (not all) are being pickier with the work they take than they would otherwise be if jobseeker was at the original rate. 
(3) no - which actually underscores my point about mismatch between employee skill sets and available jobs being as much of a problem as no jobs at all.  
Just because YOU can’t see why there would be a discussion about lowering jobseeker doesn’t mean there won’t be one.  I have stated repeatedly that I think that the jobseeker rate should be permanently raised from its original rate.  But there are a lot of people out there who don’t and your thoughts don’t matter a damn to them, nor does the fact you clearly believe yourself to be morally superior. I loathe the current government so much but this thread is a perfect example of the sort of dialogue that lost Labour the last election. Which is why I think it’s SO important to have conversations like this one, even if it’s uncomfortable. 

elishatraill July 2, 2020

@laura__palmer I agree with your last point, but I have seen people be precious with all sorts of unglamorous work and I do think that it’s happening at the moment as well.  Sometimes it’s not about getting ahead, it’s about getting by.  There are two facts that are simultaneously true: (1) the jobseeker rates should be permanently raised and (2) there ARE jobs to be had even in this current economy (which goes against the premise of this article).

Thank you for the conversation - talking to you has helped me think about this issue through from a variety of angles (which I think is the whole point of talking!).

elishatraill July 2, 2020

@cat you have completely missed the point snorks and I were making. I think that maybe the nuance of this conversation is beyond the format of a back-and-forth forum.

The name calling I referred to your reference to anyone who doesn’t participate in paid work as “lazy”.
At this point, I don’t think you are participating in this conversation in good faith.  It’s a shame because it’s a conversation the broader Australian community needs to have.

elishatraill July 1, 2020

@cat there’s no need to be snarky, everybody else in this thread is managing a civil and productive conversation.

At no point have I said that the jobseeker rated are the only factor influencing the situation.  I do disagree with the premise of this article, which I take to be: there are no jobs to be had.  There ARE jobs; the problems in matching people to these jobs range from challenges in retraining (see the conversation between Laura and myself for examples), providing accessible childcare etc. AS WELL as issues with individual people’s motivation to participate in the workforce. A range of policy responses is required to deal with all of these issues.  BTW I don’t think that “laziness” is the only reason someone would choose not to work. I’ve seen some people with such low confidence in themselves they genuinely believe they are unemployable. As I said, a range of policy responses (and resourcing) are needed, not name calling. 

elishatraill July 1, 2020

@laura__palmer I agree with you about TAFE. Another problem is that you can only access fee HELP (used to be HECS? I’m old 😂) for qualifications higher than what you attained previously. Eg. if you used it to do a diploma/degree qualification, you can’t access it again to do a certificate level qual, even in a completely different area. This is a huge barrier to retraining. Having said that, people need to not be precious. I have lived in a city that has had above national unemployment for a long time (Townsville) and a lack of jobs was not the only (or even major) contributor to the problem.  

elishatraill July 1, 2020

@laura__palmer that’s fine, I couldn’t be a waitress (terrible coordination!) but that’s different to saying that there are no jobs to be had. I’d like to see more support for people to retrain and hold multiple skill sets so they are better able to move around employment as things in the economy change. 

elishatraill July 1, 2020

@cat sorry, should have clarified: consistently had issues SINCE jobseeker rates were raised. And having been in the industry for more than six years, this particular work situation is pretty awesome.  I actually support a permanent raise in job seeker payments but to think that it won’t affect some people’s motivation is naive.  It’s a difficult issue.

elishatraill June 30, 2020

@snorks agreed. And not every available job is advertised on Seek, so I don’t know why that’s being used as a metric.  I work in disability support (so WELL above min wage rates) and we have consistently had trouble recruiting people into the team. It’s a good wicket but a lot of people don’t want to play the game... I think that jobseeker should increase permanently but there is no doubt that the current rate is causing some problems.

elishatraill June 9, 2020

@snorks Incredibly expensive for parents (as a proportion of income) and undervalued by society at large (which is why parents pick up more of the expense). Many countries subsidise early childhood education to a much greater degree than Australia does.  The age old dilemma of a capitalist economy: what do we do with something that is important to society - like early education - but isn’t economically productive?

Mind you, I’m probably way overthinking your comment which rightly pointed out that the article sounded contradictory 😂😂😂

elishatraill April 21, 2020

Not making excuses for anyone - of course you should call 000 if you suspect someone is in danger - but I have had the experience of calling emergency services to report a woman being assaulted and the operator not accepting the report until I gave my full name and phone number. I was out and the couple I was calling about were strangers so there was no chance of reprisal but I can understand the reluctance if there was. Doesn’t make it right but I can understand it. There are many barriers.

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