1370.0 - Measures of Australia's Progress, 2013  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 14/11/2013   
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Measures of Australia's Progress


Australians aspire to a strong economy that provides the opportunities and resources to support sustained individual and societal wellbeing

Measures of Australia's Progress (MAP) presents a view of Australian life divided into four main areas: society, economy, environment and governance. During our latest consultation, we asked Australians about what is important to them for national progress for each of these areas. For the economy, they identified the aspects they felt were most important and what they thought Australia should aspire to (or aim for) to achieve progress. We have sought to provide indicators that will capture the spirit of, and measure, these aspirations for economic progress. The statement at the top of this page is the overall aspiration Australians had for the economy.

In the context of MAP, the economy is viewed as a system that enables and supports social progress and wellbeing. It is the system of markets (e.g. goods, money and labour markets) which can be affected by market controls (e.g. taxes and interest rates). These together generate production, stimulate consumption, and balance economic activities, so that Australia's population has access to income and wealth (in the form of assets) and the opportunity to consume goods and services.

What did Australians say?

Australians are interested in more than the productivity of our economy. Many people expressed aspirations about opportunities and jobs. They said it is important for the economy to provide business and employment opportunities, along with safe and satisfying jobs that deliver sufficient income to support improved standards of living. Many people emphasised the importance of an efficient and prosperous economy to support people's wellbeing and that this is enhanced through obtaining a fair share of economic prosperity.

People said the Australian economy should be resilient and sustainable. They wanted the economy to be resilient to shocks, such as natural disasters and economic downturns, with broad economic stability and an ability to manage risk. Sustainability of the economy was seen as very important, meaning that the current needs of Australians are met, without compromising the needs of future generations. People also acknowledged Australia's role in the global economy, not just as a trading partner but as a source and seeker of ideas and knowledge, and as a migration and tourism destination. All of these aspects were considered important for Australia's progress.

Main themes of economy

Our recent consultation agreed on seven main themes Australians thought where important for economic progress and MAP provides progress indicators for these themes and their elements. As there are many newly emerging areas of interest from the consultation process, we don't have measures for all of these. However, MAP is an evolving product and we will seek to fill data gaps as suitable measures become available.

To view the economic measures included in MAP, click on the themes below to see how Australia is progressing in that area:

  • Opportunities - Australians aspire to have the economic opportunities they need to thrive
  • Jobs - Australians aspire to an economy that provides them with quality jobs
  • Prosperity - Australians aspire to a prosperous and efficient economy
  • A resilient economy - Australians aspire to an economy that is resilient to shocks and which allows people to manage risk
  • Enhancing living standards - Australians aspire to an economy that sustains and enhances living standards into the future
  • Fair outcomes - Australians aspire to an economy that supports fair outcomes
  • International economic engagement - Australians aspire to fruitful economic engagement with the rest of the world