“Where have all the jobs gone?” asked the Shadow Minister for Treasury and Finance Ian Ling-Stuckey, at a gathering of parents and students at the Lakurumau community school outside of Kavieng last week, when briefed on funding requirements  for new teachers housing and a new school perimeter fence for 2019.  “The national government keeps talking up the economy and how well growth is going. But we know that the number of jobs in PNG has been going backwards for years now. Indeed, the number of jobs has dropped from 381,000 in 2012 to 361,000 in 2017.”

“This is a loss of 20,000 formal sector jobs in five years under the PNC government led by PM O’Neill. There are fewer opportunities for our children when they graduate. Our population is growing rapidly and we need to have economic policies in place that grow jobs, not bury them under besties and government subsidized businesses that distort the market and increase prices of consumer goods, fake stories and broken promises” said the Shadow Treasurer.

“This appalling jobs performance under PNC contrasts with the successful jobs growth under the former National Alliance government. From 2002 to 2012, the number of jobs grew by over 150,000 from 231,000 to 381,000.”

“Let me put this another way” said Mr Ling-Stuckey. “Every five years under the National Alliance, we created 75,000 new formal sector jobs. Under the first five years of PNC, there has been a loss of 20,000 jobs. Put together, if jobs growth had continued to the end of 2017 as it had under the National Alliance, there would be 95,000 new job opportunities for our youth (75,000 plus 20,000). And allowing for another six months of poor economic indicators in the first six months of 2018, it is safe to say PNG has now been deprived of over 100,000 formal sector jobs because of poor PNC economic policies”.

“This would mean more incomes flowing into out communities. It would mean fewer young people turning to crime, home brew and social drugs because of the lack of jobs. It would mean greater purpose for doing well in school because there was a better chance of getting a job.”

“The national government is taking PNG down the wrong path. They are hiding how bad things have become. They talk of growth, but jobs are going backwards.  PNG needs to get back to the leadership that will return PNG back to genuine economic gains in our communities and a return to jobs growth. It needs to get rid of the national governments jobless growth policies” said Mr Ling-Stuckey.

Hon.Ian Ling-Stuckey,CMG.MP
Shadow Minister for Treasury & Finance


Source: Bank of Papua New Guinea, Quarterly Economic Statistics Table 9.7. This table provides an index figure on moves in non-mining formal sector employment. The index was 102.2 in 2002, 168.2 in 2012 and 157.1 in 2017 (latest December quarter figure). This index can be converted into job numbers using the 2011 PNG National Census figure of formal sector employment totalling 360,732 in 2011 – See Table 8.4 in “Grappling afresh with Labour Resource Challenges in Papua New Guinea”, Institute for National Affairs, Discussion Paper No. 96, June 2015. Mining and quarrying jobs are estimated to be only 2% of total formal sector jobs. This component of formal sector jobs has used the relevant BPNG employment index which has increased from 177.7 to 276.0, representing an extra 4,500 mining jobs. Offsetting this, the fall in other formal sector employment is 24,500 over the last five years.