SPUG: Living in Seattle

Ken Meyer kmeyer at blarg.net
Thu Aug 11 10:59:47 PDT 2005

I might have appeared a little condescending in my observation about the
relative number of professional opportunities to be found in the USA vs.
Australia.  So here is my comeuppance, delivered publicly a day or two later
by a local newspaper:


Ken Meyer

PS  I finally did what I should have done before answering at all -- nice
web site.


Australia outpaces us in new jobs

Seattle Post-Intelligencer
August 11, 2005

The Bush administration is touting the latest jobs figures as a sign that
the economy is moving swimmingly. We are supposed to be impressed that U.S.
employers added about 207,000 new jobs in July. But is this figure really
impressive? Compared with what, June's anemic 146,000?

Which brings me to Australia. The economies of Australia and the United
States are remarkably similar. The unemployment rate at 5 percent is
identical. Both economics are growing at a comparably respectable clip.
Conservative politicians dedicated to free-market principles are in power in
both places. The only difference is that the U.S. population of 295 million
is about 15 times larger than Australia's 20 million.

In June, the Australian economy created 41,700 new jobs. Taking into account
population differences, this is roughly equivalent to the U.S. economy
creating 625,000 jobs. In other words, Australia created four times as many
new jobs on a per-capita basis that month.


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