Inspired by Cameron Paterson to use images for inspiring thinking processes, to commence the topic of Unemployment for HSC Economics I handed out a different graph from the RBA Chart Pack related to Unemployment and gave students in pairs 15 minutes to tell me a story about what the chart told them. I said I was looking for drama and climatic turning points. They then presented their stories to the rest of the class. The stories won’t win them many points in an Economics HSC Exam but it certainly engaged them in the topic and allowed them to be more creative and think deeply about Unemployment. The story below is the result of one pair based on the graph pictured above, while not 100% accurate, it demonstrated creative thinking about the graph. Please note the concluding paragraph was a deliberate ploy to include several English terms.
Picture this: Australia in 2002-5, a bustling economy struggling to establish itself with the giants of the world against insurmountable odds. The economy had job vacancies higher than the advertisements for these jobs, showing the lack of awareness of these jobs. Never fear though because after 2005 there was a sharp increase in the advertisements for jobs, with only a marginal increase in the job vacancies. At this point in time the advertisements were actually higher than the vacancies, showing the desperate need for awareness regarding job vacancies. PEOPLE WERE CRYING OUT FOR HELP, AND THERE WAS NO WHITE KNIGHT RIDING TO SAVE THEM. This travesty is due to the Global Financial Crisis, which hit Australia at the peak of advertisements shown in the graph, when vacancies were 1% lower than advertisements. In 2008 the vacancy trend was removed completely from the graph. This could be due to the vast amount of vacancies as the GFC hit, causing a substantial outlier in the graph that would affect the average too much.
A DARK DAY IN 2009 WHEN the Advertisements nosedived in, after everyone was made redundant as a result of the GFC, and the vacancy of those jobs were no longer available.
The vacancy trend picked up again in 2010, staying just above the advertisements, and mirroring its trend from 1.5% of the labour force to just above one percent in present day. A TREMENDOUS VICTORY FOR THE GOVERNMENT, BUSINESS AND THE INDIVIDUALS THAT MAKE UP THE ECONOMY AS A WHOLE. THE WORKING CLASS. THE COUNCIL WORKERS AND THE JOE BLOW FROM FRIENDLY GROCER.
This is a tremendous story, cohesively highlighting the economical and unemployment trends experienced by Australia, and allegorically represents a microcosm of an economy experiencing the fluctuation in job vacancies whilst fighting to keep unemployment at a controlled level.