The Australia Institute (TAI) is developing a new series of indicators of Australia’s social, environmental and genuine economic wellbeing – the ‘Measuring What Matters‘ project.
It will collect new quarterly data on a range of social, economic and environmental issues to fill the gaps in the data collected by the Australian Bureau of Statistics.
TAI says that in Australia, we are overwhelmed with information on the size of the economy and the value of the stock market, but how meaningful is that to our day-to-day lives?
“We are told that over the past 20 years, the flexibility of the labour market has been increased—but has it? Are employers more flexible than they used to be or have we simply been reinforcing the idea that employees should respond flexibly to the inflexible demands of employers? Another of our indicators will hopefully help answer this question over time.
Our preliminary results suggest that 45 per cent of people who work more than 40 hours a week are dissatisfied with the balance between their work and the rest of their lives. Indeed, 60 per cent of people who work more than 40 hours a week said that they would like to work fewer hours even if it means a fall in their income.
Governments quite rightly worry about the unemployment rate but shouldn’t they also be concerned about the quality of our working lives as well? Shouldn’t governments be concerned that there appears to be so much employer inflexibility in our supposedly flexible labour market?”
TAI will keep people informed with results in the ‘Measuring What Matters’ series. It also hopes to develop new indicators to shed light on issues as diverse as loneliness and traffic congestion.
We can all contribute by stating what indicators we think really matter on a two-minute survey here.
If TAI can find 100 Australians willing to make a tax deductible donation of $20 each month, it will be able to add three new indicators to the quarterly survey. If you can make a small monthly donation to support this project you can advise by clicking here.
TAI is an independent think tank, well worth a visit.