Monthly Archives: August 2017

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CLERKS REPLACE TRADIES AS DOMINANT ALP BLOC

Category:Election Profiles,National 1966 to 1980

One in four women work as professionals. Their support for Labor candidates steadily increased from 1980 under Coalition Prime Minister Malcolm Fraser and by 2004, this support had levelled off to split 50/50 between Labor and the Coalition.

However, the inner-urban professional seats – such as Melbourne Ports and Brisbane – swung to Coalition Leader Malcolm Turnbull in 2016, bucking the national swing back to Labor in 2016.

About one in four men work as Tradies and one in four women work in clerical and admin jobs.

Since the 1966 election, Tradies have been seen as the pro-union, working class foundation for Labor campaigns, with the politically non-aligned female clerks successfully targeted in 1972 and 1974 to provide the more volatile winning margin in the outer suburbs.

The political significance of these two demographics switched after the period 1977 to 1980, and by 1998-2001, we were more likely to see safe Labor seats dominated by female clerks than by male Tradies, as white-collar workers became more unionised, and many older, blue collar workers such as the Howard Battlers, switched to the Coalition in the outer suburbs.

These two groups have remained the ALP’s campaign focus as Labor’s Working Family Stereotype and in 2016 seats containing the highest proportions of Working Families -such as Burt and Macarthur –  swung strongly to Labor and Bill Shorten, even as former pro-Labor professionals moved in the reverse direction towards, small-l Liberal Malcolm Turnbull.

So, the Coalition lost Working Family seats across Australia’s outer suburbs, but clung to power by its fingernails across wealthier, inner urban professional seats.

In this ADS update, we’re publishing the last instalment of John Black’s demographic profiles of Australian voting behaviour, stretching back to the 1966 Federal election.

This instalment covers the period of 1977 to 1980, the mid-point of Malcolm Fraser’s Prime Ministership, which marked a watershed era for the demographic alignments of Australia’s biggest occupational voting blocs: Tradies, Clerks and Professionals.

These three groups determined the outcome of the last election, and they are also likely to determine the outcome of the next election. Read how they came of age here.

PROJECT 4 –  Australia : 1977-1980  Project 4-Part One   Project 4 – Part Two

 

 


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Australian Labour Force May 2017

TRADIES UP, BUT CLERKS & SALES JOBS DISAPPEAR

Category:Labour Market,Labour Market 2016,Labour Market 2017

The national Year on Year employment to population ratio and the participation rate stopped their downward slide during the February labour market quarter and during the May quarter both were moving in a positive direction.

If we smooth the original data out to a 12-month moving average we see the start of what looks like an upward turning point in the employment trends to the end of May and the national figures for June and July were reasonably encouraging.

But a detailed examination of the figures by industry and occupation infer some caution should be exercised.

Industry and Occupational Breakdown of National Data.

By industry, over the past year, agriculture continued what looks like a long term structural decline in jobs, manufacturing showed some signs of life, but construction was still in good shape, as was hospitality.

IT and Media had some short-term gains, but the only consistently strong private sector industry remained Professional Services, (such as lawyers, architects, engineers, accountants) with nearly 63,000 jobs created over the past year and 300,000 jobs in the decade since the GFC.

The predominantly public sector funded or regulated industries of Public Admin, Education and Health remained the biggest drivers of jobs growth, with 45 percent of all jobs created over the past 12 months and 50 percent over the past decade.

When we look at the ABS labour market table showing the narrowly defined version of public sector vs private sector for Occupations, rather than by Industry, we see 41 percent of jobs by occupation last year were created directly by the three differing levels of Government in the public sector, instead of the long-run figure of about 12.5 percent.

In the private sector, 138,400 jobs were created and 74,500 were professionals, but private sector managers (and farmers) went backwards by 13,100 jobs. The hollowing out of female middle-class occupations by digital disruption continued, with 41,800 clerical and receptionist jobs going, virtually all of them full time, even as 42,200 sales jobs also disappeared.

The positive figures in the private sector side of the occupation table came from the creation last year of 76,600 full-time jobs for Tradies and Technicians. There were also an extra 91,200 mostly full-time jobs for the semi-skilled and unskilled blue-collar workers (machine operators, drivers, labourers and cleaners). However, the bulk of these jobs were low paid and those that weren’t, such as Tradies, were coming off a very low base in mid-2016, keeping wages low.

So where were these middle class white collar jobs lost and where were the blue-collar jobs gained?

Regional Variations.

The earlier post-GFC map link and the latest map link are shown here.

https://educationgeo.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=de5ec5b142644631976efa3b384f6948

Australia Labour-Force-2008-2016

https://educationgeo.maps.arcgis.com/apps/webappviewer/index.html?id=0a950e5ff5bc4ff2adff2c76baac084a

Australia Labour-Force-May-17

The online maps show the more recent national recovery in blue collar jobs seems to have also driven up employment levels and participation rates in many mixed working class and agricultural regions on the fringes of our major cities, like La Trobe – Gippsland in Victoria and Logan – Beaudesert in Queensland.

In New South Wales, the formerly hard hit and relatively low SES remote and rural regions like Murray, and Far West and Orana have shown a post GFC recovery and a bounce-back of jobs under threat from technology which is supported by both the national summary data and the regional data.

Well outside the capital cities, we saw a strong local recovery in the jobs market include many working-class economies which had been doing it tough in the eight years since the GFC and these include Townsville – which is genuinely heartening to see – along with other Queensland regions like Toowoomba, Ipswich, Cairns and Mackay. So, we’re seeing some growth, but from historically very low base levels.

When it comes to job losses, it’s a little surprising that some of the richer inner-city regions of Sydney, Brisbane and Perth were shedding jobs in the 12 months to May 2017.

Demographic Profiles.

After running these figures through our database for some simple correlations, we saw that the (lower SES) regions which gained the most jobs in the 12 months to May 2017 were those containing lower income, young parents, with few educational qualifications and little vocational training and living in what seemed to be often overcrowded, State rental housing, with younger children.

We saw a mix of the more evangelical religions, like Seventh Day Adventist and Other Protestant, which we note often in the urban fringe seats of south east Queensland, along with Aboriginal Traditional Religions and Languages from regions like the NT Outback and Far West NSW.

Those regions heading backwards during the last year were older, specifically aged from 55 years and above. They were also reasonably well off. Their residents tended to be retired, relying on superannuation and Government pensions for income.

Mortgage stress made a showing here and this could be a pointer to middle class persons in their late fifties, transitioning to retirement and building up super balances to discharge their mortgage only when old enough to receive the aged pension.

Finally, we should note that, while there were only small drops in the national summary figures for women in full time real estate jobs, those regions across Australia with the greatest proportion of real estate agents were shedding jobs over the past year and it was statistically significant to 99.9 percent confidence levels.

The bounce back from blue collar jobs during the past year is a welcome sign of some recovery in the private sector, but strong bias towards public-sector jobs growth over the last 12 months infers that the apparent healthy recovery in the national labour market figures may not be sustained.

 


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WE’RE BACK! SPATSIZI LODGE, BC

Category:Fly Fishing

Now I’m a sensitive Green kind of guy, but when you’re up this close, I think it’s fair to say that Grizzly Bears look much better stuffed and inside a glass case.

This big fella is part of the welcoming committee at Smithers Airport. It reminds you that you’re a guest here in this part of the world and also that it pays you to keep your eyes and ears open.

The welcoming party at Smithers Airport. Fortunately for us, this one was in a glass case.

Also joining us at the airport was our expeditor Wendy, who was a lot friendlier than this bloke.

All I needed to do was stand next to anyone I saw carrying a fly rod for the expeditor to find us, load our bags and whip us off to the local hotel for dinner.

The next morning saw us at a local lake getting loaded aboard Wendell’s wonderful Turbo Otter, for the 90-minute flight to Spatsizi. While the rest jumped in the back, alongside our groceries for the week, I got to ride in front with Wendell and I felt like the honorary co-pilot. Wendell even let me pull on the heater control for the rear cabin …

Flyfishing Spatsizi BC, heading off to the lodge in Wendell's Turbo Otter..Woo Hoo

But seriously, I was loving all of it: the noise, the whiff of plane fuel, the power of the take-off over water and then the climb, and finally the scenery below and the anticipation. I was a big boy on an adventure!

 

Fly fishing at Spatsizi. Brother Steve with catch of the day...an eight pound bull trout. With gun guide Florian.

Brothers are brothers, aren’t they? It would be an exaggeration to say my brother Steve was a gun fly fisherperson. He turned up in all the wrong gear but evidently the right attitude and caught the biggest fish on the first day, a bad-tempered Arctic Char.

I sniffily told him it was all about the quality not the size.

Fly fishing at Spatsizi BC today with very cooperative rainbow trout. Great first day in a beautiful part of the world.

Now this was definitely the prettiest fish caught by yours truly on the first day. An absolutely beautiful rainbow trout, held gently for just long enough for our guide Florian to take this shot and then released from a barbless hook. Like I said, it was all about the quality.

 

Fly Fishing Spatsizi BC. Day 2, Sun rising over Spatsizi Lodge. Another beautiful day in paradise.

Heading down to the Lodge for another of Chef Jesse’s wonderful breakfasts.

Fly fishing at Spatsizi BC. A rather irritated rainbow trout in the Rognass River today ....released soon after.

Today we fished the Rognass River adjoining Lake Kitchener and the Rainbow Trout chased flies voraciously, but then turned nasty when the fly didn’t stay eaten.

 

Fly Fishing at Spatsizi BC. Big Brother at evening post dinner drinks outside the Lodge. Another beautiful day.

Well, here we were, with my Big Brother and fellow director Steve, finding time to chat about company marketing and contracting strategies. Our main items of discussion centered on the impact of the new US Administration on inflation in the US and its impact for our CPI. With no local inflation to speak of, we have been using five-year fixed term contracts for our dashboard modelling. The clients love it.

But if the new Administration actually starts to simulate the US economy, we need to start marking our product to the prices in the marketplace. But will Trump really deliver?

Our fellow fly fisherpersons were all from the US and tended to have a bit of skin in this particular game, so it was all research. Aided by Oban on ice at this particular meeting.

 

Flyfishing at Spatsizi BC. Nature studies of local lupins after streamside diversion while working out how to do up the waders.

My Great Grandfather and Father were botanists. I’m more of a stats man, myself. But these lupins were just plain pretty and worth sharing.

John Black - just finished four day fly outs at Spatsizi. Loving it. A man's best friend is a float plane.

Well, here we were, mid-week, back outside the Lodge for another scheduled board meeting to discuss international inflationary trends and the gig economy.

Man, by this time, I was feeling the vibe. Pass me a cigar.

Roughing it as Spatsizi Lodge with the local version of Caesar Salad. Thanks to Chef Jesse.

Our Chef Jesse Phillips was a culinary genius and a perfectionist of the plate. Now this, apparently, was a Caesar Salad. The trip was worth it for the food alone.

Camp fire last night at Firesteel River Lodge.

I must confess, my idea of roughing it these days, is going without the heated seat on my Japanese Toto bidet toilet. But Firesteel Camp was an experience I’d repeat in a heartbeat … even with the long drop and the animal scratch marks on the dunny door.

This is the camp fire outside our hut, with the river in the background. Why the morning camp fire I hear you ask? See next Instagram shot.

 

Spatsizi - 9 am this morning at Firesteel River ...mid Summer in north BC. If you look closely you can see the little red bar at 5 degrees centigrade. It warmed up to 6 degrees by 10.00am.

Well, here’s the reason for a morning camp fire at Firesteel Camp. Five degrees! And this was summer! It was colder than the winter mornings we’d left behind in Brisbane.

We mooched around camp until the sun was well and truly up.

 

#Spatsizi - Firesteel river rainbow ....small but perfectly formed.

Firesteel has squillions of these little three-quarter pounders … and they all think they weigh five pounds and feel obliged to fight like it. It was a grey, windy day, which pushed most of the fish down deep, where we chased them on nymphs, but on a warm, sunny day, you’d be catching and releasing 50 of the little blighters.

 

Spatsizi....beaver lodge on the Firesteel River. These little guys would definitely not win the better housekeeping award.

These beavers are odd little creatures. They tend to gum up waterways and spawning grounds for the fish with their wood-reinforced dams and lodges so they aren’t the favourite animals for fishing guides. And are they messy! Worse than teenage boys.

I fished near this beaver lodge and had to make sure that I didn’t fall into their access hole, about a metre in diameter.

 

John Black - yours truly today catching rainbow trout number 30 at Sheep Creek and Lake Kitchener #Spatsizi BC. It was 3 degrees with a 15 knot wind and driving rain. Completely nuts.

Now I know fishing isn’t about the numbers of fish you catch in a day and nor is it about the size of the biggest fish … although the size comes close.

But sometimes, after months of fishing on tranquil Aussie high-country trout streams, where you might land a couple of careless, one or two-pound fish on a really good day, well, you just want to feel you haven’t lost your touch.

On days like this, personal comforts come last and numbers do count. It’s a man-hunter thing I guess.

In this case – at the Sheep Creek outflow into Lake Kitchener – our personal comfort level was at an all-time low, with three degrees the top temperature and a chilly 15 knot wind blowing straight in our faces, but Steve and I pulled in and released 40 fine, fat, and ultimately very relieved, Canadian Rainbow Trout.

Towards the end of the day, Steve had broken his rod and the stump had to be pulled from his frozen fingers to make him to stop.

In my case, my waterproof jacket had started to leak icy water down my back and arms and my teeth were chattering so much I couldn’t speak. Did I mention my Hardy Hip Flask was also empty?

There were no arguments then. It was time to go.

 

Spatsizi - After a day's fishing in 3 degrees and wind chill here's our entree from Chef Jess: Capresse Salad with tomato three ways, smoked Buffalo Mozzarella and Balsamic reduction. Yum..

Here’s another entree plate from super Chef Jesse. What a guy! I realise now that I only ever took pictures of the entrees, because the main course and deserts just got scoffed down.

 

Spatsizi- Our fishing companion. Carl yesterday with four pound rainbow trout from Lake Rainbow ...where else?

On this particular day, our patience was well and truly tested by some very fussy Rainbow Lake trout. At the end of the day, I was calling it No Rainbow Lake. I think I hooked three two pounders, which is pretty good by Australian standards, but well below the bar set by Spatsizi’s bountiful lakes and rivers.

To make matters worse, our very gentlemanly US fly fishing companion for the day Carl, a retired Academic, seemed to have no difficulty pulling in some plump and friendly Canadian Rainbows.

These trout were simply too discerning to be more readily hooked by a couple of big boofy Aussies. Bah. Humbug. And well done Carl.

 

Spatsizi - Steve pats Abbie our travelling companion for today's pursuit of grayling.

Today we were off with senior guide Luke and Abbie the wonder dog, to pursue the beautiful Grayling, a salmonoid species I’d never hooked before. However, no one seems to have told Abbie she was definitely coming with us.

 

Spatsizi - Our fantastic foodies. Chef Jesse and assistant Twila preparing our breakfast today.

Our Heroes of the Kitchen. Jesse and his Assistant Twila. I go all misty eyed just thinking about the food they served us, morning, and night.

 

#Spatsizi - loading up with Royal Humpies to chase Grayling today.

We had the tip-off from the boys who had been chasing Grayling the day before: It was Royal Humpies all the way. So, yours truly, in a spirit of down-under sportsmanship, bought every Royal Humpy in the Spatsizi fly shop. Hey! Someone had to have them.

 

#Spatsizi - Abbie is keen to get started with Steve and I today, chasing Grayling.

Abbie was pretty keen to come Grayling fishing with us. This was her at breakfast. By this time, she was getting a tad neurotic at the thought of missing out.

 

Abbie the Spatsizi Lodge mascot looking pensive this morning...do I get to come Grayling fishing with Steve and John?

Abbie started to tense up as we loaded the boat. Room for me? Room for me?

 

A relieved Abbie got to come Grayling fishing -#Spatsizi today.

Yay! This was one very happy pooch, as we set off up the Stikine River to chase Grayling on our last day.

 

A bear proof food locker @Spatsizi on the walk to the Grayling hole today...I'd have opened it to show you if I could have, but it was a little too complicated for me.

Words fail me here folks. This is a true story. Your humble scribe from down under could not open the bear proof locker, provided for overnight campers to store their food.

Now, that means that the local bears are very smart or your local scribe is very … where was I again?

 

One of 30 Grayling your humble author caught today #Spatsizi

Here I am with one of 30 Grayling hooked and released on our last day, along with 12 Rainbow Trout and two Arctic Char. These Grayling were just beautiful little fish. And the greatest gutses for a Royal Humpy (Shame Steve didn’t have one). They fought like little Bonefish too.

Looking back on this picture, I may have overdone it with the zinc cream, but it was a hot day. And a great day.

 

Petunias et al on the verandah #Spatsizi ...trip completed and we're now waiting for Wendell and his Turbo Otter to start the trip home. Well, this is it. The fishing is over and we’re waiting for Wendell to take us on the first leg home. With no fish on the line, I’ve been reduced to photographing Petunias. Still, they were pretty.

 

Wendell arrives #Spatsizi - we're heading home.

Here comes the Turbo. Here comes the Turbo. Woo Hoo! Homeward bound.

 

Just back home from Spatsizi northern BC, Canada. My five favourite flies from the trip: from left Tom Thumb, Royal Humpy, Prince Nymph, Mouse and Woolly Bugger, which between them cause and released 100 Grayling, Rainbow Trout and Artic Char. All of them were thoroughly mangled out the bit marks on the Mouse.

Now the caption says it all really. These were the flies which were really hammered by the local piscatorial pirates during our Spatsizi stop over.

The mouse fly was a complete write off and the cork you see here is now blue tacked to my central computer screen as I type. Ah, the memories. Enough to keep me sane for another year. I’m already booked for 2018.

 

A few facts.

You can find out most of what you need to know about Spatsizi at http://www.spatsizi.com/ Seven days of fly-in, fly out fishing will set you back about $8,000 Australian dollars and the Aussie dollar now (August 2017) has parity with the Canadian dollar. Allow about 10 to 15 percent cash for gratuities at the end of the trip.

Our Air Canada flight flew nonstop Brisbane to Vancouver. We went business class and it was a hoot. Sets you back about $6,000, but the beds were comfortable and the service friendly and practical.

We left mid-morning and arrived 14 hours later about four hours before we took off. Something to do with datelines. There’s a bit of a wait before the afternoon flight to Smithers, which you can fill in however you like. I think we got liquored up in the business lounge.

On the trip home, book the afternoon flight back from Smithers and make sure you pay a bit more to have the option of the later flight if the weather delays your trip in from the Lodge.

The flight back from Vancouver to Brisbane was a real treat. It leaves Vancouver at midnight and gets in about 7.30 am Brisbane time a couple of days later – where did that missing day go? Basically, you knock over a few wallbangers after take-off and hit the sack for about nine hours, before being gently woken up for breakfast, just before you land in Brisbane. Worked for me.

For Travel bookings, I contacted my old mate Emily, from Tripaway at Emily@tripaway.com.au

She did all the bookings and travel advisories and talked to Jacki at Spatsizi to make sure it all went well. There’s no hurry booking flights, but Spatsizi fishing places tend to fill up a year in advance, so get in early there if you want to try it in mid-2018.