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12 May, 2017


Fundamentals of Human Resources Management

This intensive, hands-on seminar will give you a solid overview of all aspects of HR.

Whether you're a recently appointed HR manager, are new to HR or have a non-HR job with HR responsibilities, this course can give you the know-how you need. Understand essential HR functions and learn to develop an action plan to put to work in your organization.

11 June, 2017


Strategic Planning

Develop the best strategic planning to support your company's goals.

This course is designed to combine proven-by-practice methods with new insights and ideas from a wide range of current strategic thinking. Gain a wider perspective of management practice through breakout sessions, exercises, and case applications. Bring your strategic dilemmas to this program and get direction on analytical and organizational approaches.

21 May, 2017


Chaos or Control? The Importance of Organization Design

Is your organization experiencing a lack of order or predictability?

Is your company doing everything it can to succeed in this VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex and Ambiguous) economy?

Is your company properly designed to meet your goals? Are your marketing, financial and production strategies fully aligned with your overall corporate strategy? Do you have the right jobs and skill sets in your company?

These issues may be costing you money tomorrow and negatively impacting your operational capability. Entropy is the silent killer of business performance and the symptom of a need for redesigning your organization.

27 June, 2017


Recruiting, Interviewing and Selecting Employees

The everything you need to know before you say you're hired seminar.Learn everything you need to know about employee selection in this seminar! Making the wrong hiring decision means throwing away a substantial investment of time and money on recruitment, training and benefits. This fundamentals seminar is your ticket to make the right hiring decisions and contribute more to your company's bottom line.

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In April, 538,400 people received regular Employment Insurance (EI) benefits, down slightly from the previous month (-4,900 or -0.9%).

The number of EI beneficiaries decreased in five provinces in April, most notably in Ontario (-2.4%), British Columbia (-2.2%) and Newfoundland and Labrador (-2.0%). There were also fewer beneficiaries in Saskatchewan (-1.7%) and New Brunswick (-1.5%). On the other hand, the number of recipients increased in Alberta (+1.2%) and Prince Edward Island (+1.0%). Little change was observed in the remaining provinces.

On a year-over-year basis, the total number of EI beneficiaries in Canada was up by 12,400 or 2.4%, mainly as a result of increases that occurred early in the summer of 2015.

Changes in the number of regular EI beneficiaries reflect various situations, including people becoming beneficiaries, those going back to work and those no longer receiving regular benefits.

Provincial and sub-provincial overview

In Ontario, 137,600 people received EI benefits in April, down 2.4% from March. There were fewer beneficiaries in 10 of the 15 census metropolitan areas (CMAs), with decreases ranging from 6.4% in Peterborough and Thunder Bay to 1.4% in Greater Sudbury and Hamilton. Windsor (+5.1%) and Kitchener–Cambridge–Waterloo (+1.1%) were the only CMAs in Ontario with an increase in beneficiaries.

The number of EI beneficiaries in British Columbia decreased by 2.2% in April to 50,500. Virtually all of the CMAs and some of the census agglomerations (CAs) in the province reported declines, with the largest being in Vancouver (-3.7%) and Kelowna (-3.5%). The number of recipients in British Columbia has been on a downward trend since August 2015.

Newfoundland and Labrador had fewer people receiving EI benefits in April, down 2.0% from March to 33,100, with the largest decline occurring in areas outside of St. John's and the CAs. On a year-over-year basis, however, the number of beneficiaries in the province increased by 2.7%.

EI beneficiaries in Saskatchewan numbered 16,400 in April, a 1.7% decrease from the previous month. Declines occurred throughout the province, including Regina (-2.4%) and Saskatoon (-1.1%). In the 12 months to April, the number of beneficiaries in Saskatchewan increased by 26.9%.

Fewer EI beneficiaries were reported in New Brunswick, down 1.5% in April to 32,600. Declines were observed throughout the province, including Moncton (-2.1%) and Saint John (-1.5%). On a year-over-year basis, the number of beneficiaries in New Brunswick was essentially unchanged.

In Alberta, 67,900 people received regular EI benefits in April, up 1.2% from the previous month. Calgary (+1.0%) and areas outside of the CMAs and CAs (+2.9%) had more recipients, while other areas in the province were mostly unchanged. On a year-over-year basis, the number of beneficiaries in Alberta increased by 52.2%.

The number of EI beneficiaries in Prince Edward Island rose slightly (+1.0%) in April to 7,800. On a year-over-year basis, the number of beneficiaries in the province grew by 7.7%.

While the number of EI beneficiaries in Nova Scotia, Quebec and Manitoba was little changed in April, this was not the case for some areas within these provinces.

In Nova Scotia, Halifax (+1.4%) posted an increase. In Quebec, the CMAs of Québec (+1.3%) and Sherbrooke (+1.2%) rose, while Gatineau (-2.5%) declined. At the same time, in Manitoba, the areas outside of Winnipeg and the CAs (-1.1%) had fewer beneficiaries.

Employment Insurance beneficiaries in major demographic groups

In April, there was a slight decrease in the number of EI beneficiaries among men aged 25 to 54 (-1.3%) and women aged 55 and older (-1.0%). The other major demographic groups were unchanged.

In the 12 months to April, there were increases in all major demographic groups, except among women aged 25 to 54, who experienced a decline. The year-over-year gain in recipients was greater among men than women.

Employment Insurance claims

The number of EI claims totalled 240,000 in April, a 1.8% increase from the previous month. The number of claims provides an indication of the number of people who could become beneficiaries.

There were more EI claims in three provinces: Quebec (+5.7%), Newfoundland and Labrador (+5.6%) and Ontario (+4.6%). While Alberta had little change in the number of claims, the remaining provinces reported declines. Most notably, in Saskatchewan, the number of claims decreased by 15.7% in April.

Compared with 12 months earlier, EI claims were down 1.4% at the national level in April. This was the third consecutive month with a year-over-year decrease in claims.

Job vacancy rates across Canada

British Columbia had the highest job vacancy rate at 2.8%, followed by Nunavut, the Northwest Territories, and Yukon, which all had job vacancy rates of 2.6% in the fourth quarter. Quebec posted the lowest rate at 1.6%.

The job vacancy rate refers to the share of jobs that are unfilled out of all payroll jobs available. It represents the number of job vacancies expressed as a percentage of labour demand, that is, the sum of all occupied and vacant jobs.

Among the 76 economic regions in Canada, Banff-Jasper-Rocky Mountain House, Alberta, had the highest job vacancy rate at 3.6%, followed by two regions in British Columbia, Lower Mainland-Southwest and Northeast, both at 3.0%. Of the 10 economic regions with the highest job vacancy rates, 9 were in the western provinces. On the other hand, 9 of the 10 economic regions with the lowest job vacancy rates were in Quebec.

Job vacancies by occupation

Among the 10 broad occupational groups at the one-digit National Occupational Classification (NOC) level, sales and service occupations had the highest number of job vacancies at 143,000 or 40.4% of all job vacancies.

Retail salespersons had the largest number of vacancies (29,000) across all 140 three-digit NOC groups. In addition, among the 10 three-digit NOC groups with the most job vacancies, 7 were related to sales and service occupations.

At the broad occupational group level, trades, transport and equipment operators and related occupations had the second largest number of job vacancies at 48,000. Within this group, motor vehicle and transit drivers was the three-digit NOC group with the largest number of job vacancies (12,000).

Within business, finance and administration occupations (35,000 vacancies), auditors, accountants and investment professionals was the three-digit NOC group with the highest number of vacancies (6,900).

Job vacancies by full-time and part-time status

Almost two-thirds of job vacancies in Canada were for full-time work. The Northwest Territories had the highest proportion of job vacancies that were for full-time work (79.1%). Among the provinces, Prince Edward Island (70.1%) and Quebec (69.1%) had the highest proportion of vacancies that were for full-time work, while Newfoundland and Labrador (56.0%) and Saskatchewan (59.4%) had the lowest.

Nationally, the average offered wage for job vacancies that were for full-time work was $21.40, which was $6.75 higher than the offered wage for vacancies that were for part-time work ($14.65). This tendency was also observed in all provinces and territories, with the largest differences between full-time and part-time offered wage being observed in Alberta ($7.75) and Ontario ($7.65), and the lowest being observed in Yukon ($0.80).

Differences in the offered wage by full-time and part-time status partly reflected the distribution of job vacancies by occupation. For example, retail salespersons and cashiers, two occupational groups that had among the lowest offered wages for vacant positions, represented 23.1% of job vacancies for part-time work compared with 3.6% of vacancies for full-time work.

The average offered hourly wage for all job vacancies was $18.95 in the fourth quarter. The territories had the highest offered wages, ranging from $21.20 in Yukon to $25.35 in the Northwest Territories. Provincially, Ontario had the highest offered wage at $19.35, followed by Manitoba and Quebec. Prince Edward Island was the province with the lowest offered wage for vacant positions at $14.15.

With the exception of Montréal ($21.75), the 10 economic regions with the highest offered wages were generally located in the In contrast, the 10 economic regions with the lowest offered wages for vacant positions were mostly in the Atlantic provinces. The economic region of Northern Saskatchewan had the highest offered wage in the country at $26.50, while Annapolis Valley, Nova Scotia, and Prince Edward Island, both at $14.15, had the lowest.

The offered wage for job vacancies also varied within provinces. In Quebec, the offered wage ranged from $15.50 in Estrie to $21.75 in Montréal, while in Ontario, it ranged from $15.10 in Windsor-Sarnia to $20.60 in Ottawa. In Saskatchewan, the offered wage was lowest in Swift Current-Moose Jaw at $16.80 and highest in the Northern economic region at $26.50, making it the province with the largest sub-provincial variation in the offered wage in the country.

The offered wage for vacant positions related to an occupation could differ across provinces. For example, at the four-digit NOC level, the offered wage for vacant positions for transport truck drivers averaged $16.65 in Nova Scotia compared with $26.40 in Alberta. Similarly, the offered wage for construction trades helpers and labourers was $13.75 in Nova Scotia compared with $31.65 in Saskatchewan. Other occupations, however, had smaller provincial variations in terms of their offered wage. Among retail salespersons, the offered wage for vacant positions ranged from $11.00 in Newfoundland and Labrador and New Brunswick to $12.30 in Manitoba.

Among the 20 industrial sectors, utilities had the highest offered wage at $38.50, followed by mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction at $32.15. There were 1,500 job vacancies in mining, quarrying, and oil and gas extraction, and 700 job vacancies in utilities in the fourth quarter. Other sectors that had among the highest offered wages included public administration ($28.50), professional, scientific and technical services ($27.65), and educational services ($27.30).

Accommodation and food services was the sector that had the lowest offered wage for job vacancies ($12.20), followed by retail trade ($12.70). This partly reflected the fact that occupations in these two industrial sectors tended to have a higher proportion of job vacancies that were for part-time work.

The federal government has declared $100 million in spending to help alleviate unemployment in First Nations communities, which in some places is up to 70 per cent.

People want to work. They're looking for opportunities," said MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, who made the notice at the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) spring assembly of chiefs on Wednesday.

The money includes an immediate three per cent increase to the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS).

Communities in crisis, such as isolated northern communities affected by the commodities downturn, will receive more.

That spending will cost $50 million, including the $5 million already declired in the budget plus $45 million of internal funding that has since been identified, Mihychuck said.

This is the first increase to the program since 1999.

"It doesn't even come close to catching up to inflation. The birthrate is up and people need training. We see very high unemployment." Mihychuk said.

The money will go toward literacy, general education diploma (GED) programs, and wraparound services for people looking for work.

The program has also be changed to reduce the amount of red tape and make it more functional, Mihychuk said.

"A major culture change" is occurring within the bureaucracy, where workers have been instructed to work with communities and "find ways to say yes, not no," she said.

"We're going to try and streamline that without throwing out accountability. We don't need a whole full-time position just to fill out the forms."

Another $50 million will be available across Canada through the Skills and Partnership Fund.

Proposals for partnerships with governments, businesses and community organizations to improve skills training must meet a tight July 5 deadline.

The ministry is consulting with First Nations now and through the summer in advance of the budget process that begins in the fall, Mihychuck said.

While northern communities often have limited opportunities, they still need local people trained to operate water treatment plants and work in health care and early childhood development. The money can also be used to train equipment operators, carpenters and electricians in advance of the "massive infrastructure program," Mihychuk said.

Chief Tammy Cook Searson of Lac La Ronge First Nation said unemployment is about 70 per cent on her reserves. She said she looks forward to getting training for more firefighters as summer approaches in the forest.

The federal government has declared $100 million in spending to help alleviate unemployment in First Nations communities, which in some places is up to 70 per cent.

People want to work. They're looking for opportunities," said MaryAnn Mihychuk, Minister of Employment, Workforce Development and Labour, who made the notice at the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) spring assembly of chiefs on Wednesday.

The money includes an immediate three per cent increase to the Aboriginal Skills and Employment Training Strategy (ASETS).

Communities in crisis, such as isolated northern communities affected by the commodities downturn, will receive more.

That spending will cost $50 million, including the $5 million already declired in the budget plus $45 million of internal funding that has since been identified, Mihychuck said.

This is the first increase to the program since 1999.

"It doesn't even come close to catching up to inflation. The birthrate is up and people need training. We see very high unemployment." Mihychuk said.

The money will go toward literacy, general education diploma (GED) programs, and wraparound services for people looking for work.

The program has also be changed to reduce the amount of red tape and make it more functional, Mihychuk said.

"A major culture change" is occurring within the bureaucracy, where workers have been instructed to work with communities and "find ways to say yes, not no," she said.

"We're going to try and streamline that without throwing out accountability. We don't need a whole full-time position just to fill out the forms."

Another $50 million will be available across Canada through the Skills and Partnership Fund.

Proposals for partnerships with governments, businesses and community organizations to improve skills training must meet a tight July 5 deadline.

The ministry is consulting with First Nations now and through the summer in advance of the budget process that begins in the fall, Mihychuck said.

While northern communities often have limited opportunities, they still need local people trained to operate water treatment plants and work in health care and early childhood development. The money can also be used to train equipment operators, carpenters and electricians in advance of the "massive infrastructure program," Mihychuk said.

Chief Tammy Cook Searson of Lac La Ronge First Nation said unemployment is about 70 per cent on her reserves. She said she looks forward to getting training for more firefighters as summer approaches in the forest.

Flagship jobs pledge aims to tackle youth unemployment and bring an end to a 'benefits for life'

LABOUR'S Compulsory Jobs Guarantee scheme, expected to form a central plank of its 2015 manifesto, is to be extended until 2020. The programme was originally set to run for one year, but the party now says it will continue throughout the next parliament if it wins the election.

Labour has pledged to guarantee a "paid starter job" for under-25s have been claiming Job Seekers Allowance for over a year. Jobs will also be provided for adults who have been claiming benefits for over two years.

According to shadow chancellor Ed Balls, the policy will help get 50,000 young and long-term unemployed people off benefits and into work. "A life on benefits will no longer be an option", he is expected to say later today.

"It's shocking that the number of young people stuck on the dole for more than a year has doubled under David Cameron. For tens of thousands of young people who cannot find work this is no recovery at all."

The policy is estimated to cost £1.9bn in the first year and £900m a year in subsequent years.

The package will be funded by a tax on bankers' bonuses and a restriction on pension tax relief for high-earners, the BBC reports.

The jobs provided will be for 25 hours a week at minimum wage. The government will cover the employee's wages as well as their national insurance contributions over a period of six months, with an extra £500 per job seeker allocated for further training.

The conservatives have criticised the package, calling it a "short-term political gimmick" and arguing that Labour's "sums don't add up".

A report by the Trade Union Congress claims that the rise of the City has sucked £7,000 a year from the pockets of other workers. The report titled 'Where Have All the Wages Gone?', found that over the last 30 years the share of national income going to wages has fallen from 59 to 53 per cent, according to The Independent. Yet over the same period the proportion of Gross Domestic Product going to profits has increased from 25 to 29 per cent. The report blames the decline of industries such as manufacturing where a high proportion of revenue goes to wage bills and the rise of financial services which makes far higher profit margins from fewer employees.

Labor Market Healthiest Since 2008 Says Conference Board Report

The Conference Board Employment Trends Index, which uses eight different labor-market indicators to pick out underlying trends that are moving the job market, reached its highest point since June 2008 this morning. The report doesn't point to fast accelerating job growth (that won't come unless GDP growth picks up), but does bode well for the steady, consistent job creation needed to keep the recovery moving forward.

Friday's April Jobs Report pointed to strong and consistent job creation over the first four months of the year – businesses have now added over 800,000 jobs in 2013, and the unemployment rate fell to a four-year low at 7.5%

But the strength in the Conference Board's report comes from several other labor market indicators. The largest positive factor was a significant increase in the number of temporary employees, which signals that employers need more staff to meet higher demand and may move to hire full-time if growth is consistent. The drop in jobless claims – last week, the Labor Department's measure of layoffs hit its lowest level since January 2008, just after the recession began – was also a key component of the Conference Board's report.

British unemployment rate decreased to 5 percent in the three months to April of 2016 from 5.1 percent in the previous five periods. It is the lowest figure since October of 2005 as the number of unemployed fell to a 7-year low, the employment rate remained a record high and pay growth picked up. Unemployment Rate in the United Kingdom averaged 7.16 percent from 1971 until 2016, reaching an all time high of 12 percent in February of 1984 and a record low of 3.40 percent in November of 1973. Unemployment Rate in the United Kingdom is reported by the Office for National Statistics.

The US may have seen its two best years of job growth since the late 90s, but according to the labor secretary, Tom Perez, the American people still need a raise. The last time the federal minimum wage went up was in July 2009. It has stayed at $7.25, even as Barack Obama has called on Congress to raise it to $10.10 and then $12 an hour.

Perez said on Friday the minimum wage was "on the front burner and it's sizzling, for us, because Americans need a raise".

In 2015, wages increased by 2.5%. In order for the lowest-earning Americans to feel the impact, that rate of growth would have to be between 3% and 4%.

The Obama administration and the Federal Reserve both expect the job market to continue to strengthen. According to Perez, as unemployment goes down companies will have to raise wages to attract the best candidates.

"And on a federal level, one of two things will happen," he told the Guardian, after his department declared that the US economy had added 292,000 jobs in December, exceeding expectations. "We will see a raise in minimum wage this year and we are going to continue to fight for that. Or those who oppose it will do it at their own peril.

"I have been to red states and blue states and what they all have in common is that you c ot live on $7.25 an hour. That's why you are seeing states like South Dakota and Nebraska raise their minimum wage. And you shouldn't have to win the geographic lottery to get out of poverty wages."

The Republican stance on minimum wages came back into the spotlight in late December, when presidential frontrunner Donald Trump appeared to change his position.

"Wages in are [sic] country are too low, good jobs are too few, and people have lost faith in our leaders. We need smart and strong leadership now!" Trump tweeted on 28 December, weeks after the fourth Republican debate, in which he said that wages were too high and that the minimum wage should remain at $7.25.

Asked if the economy would feature in Obama's final State of the Union speech on Tuesday, Perez said: "Of course.

"The economy continues to be job one at the Labor Department. And the president, every day, is waking up asking the questions: how can I build not just a better economy, but a better America where we have shared prosperity?"

Some remain skeptical about whether strong job growth can continue, after the US economy added 2.65m jobs in 2015.

Some economists attributed the better-than-expected December report to the warm weather. Perez dismissed that, saying much of the growth had been in sectors with indoor jobs.

"The sectors that have done best are business and professional services and education and health," he said. "Now, my kid's teachers teach indoors. My accountant doesn't work in her backyard.

"The broad-base nature of our growth right now is a really solid indicator that we are building an economy that can remain strong and resilient and resistant to weather headwinds or China headwinds. We have proven that we are incredibly resilient in this country."

US stock markets have not proved resilient to economic turmoil in China. On 4 January, the markets opened with their worst performance since 2008, and both the Dow Jones and the S&P 500 went on to have their worst opening week in history.

By Friday, the Dow Jones was down 6.2% and the S&P 500 was down 6%. Nasdaq had its worst opening week since 2008, losing 8%.

Jobs

The December Employment Report demonstrated strength across the labor market, including job gains of 292,000, 5.0% employment rate, and a 2.4% wage growth. The report highlights the fact that recent volatility in the equity market is more likely an emotional reaction to China's poor management of their own stock market than a reflection of fundamental growth prospects in the U.S. Also, the stronger labor force numbers keep the Fed on track to increase rates for a second time in March. The Labor Department posted initial jobless claims dropped by 10,000 to 277,000 in the week ending January 2, 2016. The four-week moving average was 275,750. The ADP National Employment Report stated the U.S. added 257,000 private sector jobs in December.

Inflation

In November, headline consumer prices remained flat, in line with the consensus anticipation, dragged lower by falling food and oil prices. Headline inflation is currently up 0.5% from November 2014, while the energy index is down 14.7% from November 2014. Core CPI increased to 2.0% y/y growth and has improved by 0.1% m/m. With the burden from energy prices set to dissolve in early 2016, headline inflation should also shift closer to the Fed's 2.0% mandate in the medium term.

Rates

The 10-year U.S. Treasury note yield dropped -0.14% to 2.13% for the week ending January 8, 2016. The Federal Reserve showed its confidence in the health of the U.S. economic recovery by raising short-term interest rates 0.25% last week. This move was a unanimous decision by the voting members of the Committee, and this decision ends seven years of a near-zero interest rate policy. The rate hike was well communicated to the investing community, so the market reacted to the notice positively, with stocks rallying and Treasury yields remaining comparably stable. However, now that the obstacle of the first rate increase has passed, markets need to prepare for the Fed's expectations for future interest rate increases.

Growth

The Commerce Department reported construction spending dropped 0.4%, wholesale trades dropped 1.0% and factory orders slipped 0.2% in November. ISM posted manufacturing contracted and services increased at a slower pace in December. The BEA noted the trade deficit dropped in November. The U.S. economy grew at a 2.0% q/q saar pace, the BEA showed in its final estimate of 3Q 2015 GDP. The data shows a larger inventory overhang than originally estimated, leading to a moderate revision downward from the second estimate. Inventory accumulation in the first half of the year reduced 0.7% from 3Q 2015 growth, revised up from the original estimate of -1.4%. However, the lower-than-expected negative hit from inventory accumulation means a forceful headwind to future growth as the pace of inventory accumulation returns to average levels. Consumption remained steady in 3Q, with consumer expenditures increasing 3.0% y/y following a 3.6% rise in 2Q.

Profits

According to the S&P Dow Jones Indices, as of December 31, 2015, operating earnings for S&P 500 Index companies are expected to drop 5.9% for 2015. Excluding the energy sector, the operating earnings are estimated to increase 5.7%.

Amazon plans to hire 100,000 people for the holidays, a 25% jump from last year that reveals a shift in the way we shop.

The online retailer said on Tuesday that it will be hiring across the country for jobs in its fulfilment and sorting facilities. The Seattle company recently hired more than 25,000 people for regular, full-time positions. It hired 80,000 workers last year for the holidays.

Amazon stands out among retailers, with holiday hiring expected to remain largely unchanged, according to a report from Challenger, Gray & Christmas.

"It used to be that the bulk of holiday hires would be in customer-facing positions on the sales floor and behind the cash register," said CGC chief executive John Challenger.

"These extra workers would also help pick up the slack in the back room, helping to receive and stock increased deliveries. Now, as more and more shopping is completed online, the holiday hiring is shifting away from stores and into the warehouses."

A mixed hiring picture from retailers is emerging during a dicey period for the US. The Labor Department reported earlier this month that a sharp slowdown in hiring occurred in September. Average hourly wages slipped by a penny and have risen a tepid 2.2% in the past year.

Walmart is hiring 60,000 holiday employees, Target about 70,000 and Macy's 85,000, which are all about flat compared with last year. Kohl's, JC Penney and Toys R Us are hiring fewer, while GameStop is hiring about 12% more workers.

Amazon has more than 90,000 full-time employees at its more than 50 fulfillment centers and 20 sorting facilities in the US.

Unemployment rate was flat at 5.7 per cent in May, official figures show, which was better than market expectations.

The total number of people with jobs rose by 17,900 in the month, the Australian Bureau of Statistics said on Thursday, which was better than expectations of a rise of 17,000.

Fulltime employment was flat, while the number of part-time jobs was up by 17,900.

The participation rate, which refers to the number of people either employed or actively looking for work, was flat to 64.8 per cent.

The Federal Opposition has confirmed the budget would be about $16.4 billion worse off over the next four years if it wins government, but insists it would return to balance at the same time as the Coalition, thanks to long-term, structural reforms.

Unveiling its final costings in Brisbane on Sunday, Labor declired its final two savings measures and revealed it would bank nearly $3 billion from the Coalition's superannuation changes, without committing to adopting the policy.

Shadow Treasurer Chris Bowen said together with the policies already declired, Labor would deliver $10.5 billion in savings over the next decade, bringing its total budget improvements to more than $130 billion.

Mr Bowen also confirmed Labor would return the budget to balance at the same time as the Coalition in 2020-21, but its deficits would be deeper for the first four years, largely because of Labor's extra spending on Medicare, education, and infrastructure.

Treasurer Scott Morrison seized on the figures, labelling Labor's plan a threat to Australia's AAA credit rating.

"Labor confirmed they will increase the deficit by $16.5 billion at least. They confirmed, therefore, that they would increase debt," he said.

"This is something that will weaken our economy and a time when we need to be doing everything, particularly right now, to strengthen our economy."

Shadow finance spokesman Tony Burke said on Sunday the Coalition's numbers could not be trusted because it had banked savings from unlegislated measures that were still stuck in the Senate.

"They have $6.9 billion worth of measures known as zombie measures that they have embedded into the budget bottom line that will never, never pass the Parliament," he said.

"They cannot and will not deliver the numbers that are contained within the budget."

In a bid to dent the Coalition's economic credibility, Mr Burke labelled its company tax cut plan a "reckless, fiscal ram-raid" on the budget and contrasted the promise with Labor's long-term structural reforms.

"The Coalition is actually deliberately putting forward a structural deterioration," he said.

"The hit to the budget gets worse and worse year on year.

"Whereas Labor, by putting forward the changes in particular to negative gearing and capital gains tax, has a structural improvement to the budget that the budget and the nation needs."

Rebate for 'junk policies' scrapped

Labor declired it would save $430 million over four years by placing a $5,000 cap on the amount individuals can claim for the cost of managing their tax affairs and removing the Private Health Insurance Rebate from so-called "junk policies", or those that only cover public hospital treatment.

Mr Bowen said Labor had listened to the advice of medical and consumer groups which had been calling on the Government to either scrap the rebate or ban junk policies.

"These are policies in which the beneficiary — the policy holder — receives no benefit," he said.

"It simply insures people for public hospital access they already get as citizens, but enables the Medicare surcharge to be avoided."

But buried inside its fiscal plan was the revelation the party would bank the $2.9 billion in savings from the Coalition's superannuation changes, while not necessarily adopting the policy.

"Labor would consult with stakeholders and take a broader examination of all these measures on coming to government," the document states.

THE NSW Government has unveiled a stunning Budget turnaround and its residents are benefiting big time.

The powerhouse state has emerged as the nation's first half-a-trillion-dollar economy, putting it almost on par with countries like Norway, Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian said while unveiling her second State Budget today.

"If NSW was a stand-alone country, it would be in the top 20 per cent by size of economy," Ms Berejiklian said in her budget speech.

A surplus of $3.7 billion will be achieved in 2016-17, and this would continue over the next four years with forecast annual surpluses averaging $2 billion.

The state's debt is already sitting at virtually zero, and it has managed to maintain its triple-A credit rating.

Ms Berejiklian said that the strong Budget result allowed the government to spend record amounts on infrastructure, and it will shell out $20 billion in just one year to improve NSW's crippling traffic congestion through spending on roads and rail.

Over four years it will spend a massive $73.3 billion on infrastructure.

But there are challenges ahead and the state's success means its GST revenue will fall dramatically in the future.

The government is also working on the assumption that the state's housing boom is coming to an end, with growth of stamp duty from property sales set to slow.

This will put pressure on services, as the government maintains its commitment to restrain spending.

THE NATION'S ENGINE ROOM

If jobs and growth is what you're after, NSW is the place to be.

With the nation's lowest unemployment rate of 5.2 per cent, NSW has gained 141,800 jobs in the past year — that's 63 per cent of new jobs across the nation, in a state that accounts for 31 per cent of Australia's population.

The Treasurer said the state's turnaround, achieved after five years in office, had taken a lot of hard work.

"We have taken NSW from having the lowest jobs growth of any mainland state to a position where we have the lowest unemployment rate in the country, the strongest employment growth and where we are creating almost two-thirds of the nation's jobs," she said.

"Our state is the engine room of the national economy and the infrastructure captial of Australia."

The strength of the NSW economy is drawing people to the state, and less citizens are leaving. Net outward migration to other states is near its lowest levels since the late 1970s.

As the only state in positive territory when it comes to business investment growth, it is set to grow its gross state product by 3 per cent in 2016-17, and 2.75 per cent the following year, against the backdrop of a relatively subdued national outlook. Victoria, the only other state that has a triple-A credit rating, lags behind NSW on these measures.

Key projects include:

Sydney Metro rail project: $6.2 billion over four years to progress the 30km metro line from Chatswood to the CBD and Bankstown. There will also be $5.8 billion for the northwest line

Other rail projects: $64 million in 2016-17 to continue planning for the Parramatta Light Rail system. More than $1 billion over four years for the suburban rail network and $518.4 million for the new trains

Prison beds: $3.8 billion over four years to provide more beds in jails to keep up with growing demand

School upgrades: $2.6 billion over four years for new schools and upgrades at existing schools. This includes $1 billion in extra funding to deliver about 1100 new classrooms.

Walsh Bay Arts Precinct: $129 million over four years for construction of new and upgraded production, studio, rehearsal and performance venues

Fixing Country Roads program: $50 million to fund road and bridge upgrades in rural and regional areas

Sports stadium: Money for a new stadium for western Sydney, and upgrading existing facilities at Olympic Park and Moore Park

Hospitals: In the next year there are funds for the Westmead redevelopment ($99 million), St George acute services building ($167 million), Gosford redevelopment including the car park ($133 million) Dubbo redevelopment ($25 million), Tweed redevelopment ($12 million), Lismore redevelopment ($75 million), NSW Ambulance superstations across Sydney ($73 million) and Armidale redevelopment ($26 million).

HOUSING AFFORDABILITY

"It is no use delivering surpluses and triple-A credit ratings unless our citizens are able to prosper and have a better quality of life,"Ms Berejiklian said, while outlining "record spending" on infrastructure and essential services.

"We appreciate that housing affordability remains one of the biggest challenges of our time."

She said increased supply would ease pressure on prices, with annual home approvals now above 70,000 dwellings for the first time, leading the nation with 22.5 per cent residential growth.

"The figures show that our construction pipeline is continuing to grow and that more housing stock is on the way," Ms Berejiklian said.

But the booming property market, which has helped power the economy for many years, is expected to drop off. The growth of residential stamp duty, the money the government raises from the sale of properties, is forecast to slow dramatically.

At the height of the property boom in 2013-14, stamp duty revenue grew by 40 per cent. Next year, growth is expected to fall to 5.5 per cent, then further to about 4 per cent in 2019-20.

In 2015-16 the government is expected to collect $6.28 billion from stamp duty, this will grow to $7.5 billion in 2019-20.

'RECORD' SPENDING, BUT IS IT ENOUGH?

Health spending will grow by just 5 per cent, which some economists say is below what's needed to address ballooning demand. Last year's budget forecast 6 per cent growth in health expenses in 2016-17.

The Grattan Institute argues that anything less than 7 per cent growth in health spending is a cut in real terms, with the ageing population putting increased demand on the system. Australia's population is set to increase by 1.3 per cent to 7.79 million next year and public hospital admissions have already hit record highs, with 672,000 emergency room visits recorded between January and March this year.

The $20.4 billion health budget does include an extra $375 million for hospital and emergency department services, funding for 900 extra nurses, midwives, doctors and other staff, plus $1.8 billion for mental health services.

There's $8.1 billion over four years for community safety, including $57 million in 2016-17 for new or upgraded police stations.

And family and community services will get $6.3 billion, including $1.3 billion to implement the National Disability Insurance Scheme in the state. Domestic violence services funding will be doubled to $300 million over four years.

EDUCATION AND EMPLOYMENT

In education, a more generous 7.2 per cent increase will see a record $13.3 billion spent on education services in 2016-17, in anticipation of an extra 40,000 students expected to enrol at NSW schools over the coming four years. School maintenance spending of $990 million includes $330 million to clear backlog, as part of a $2.6 billion school infrastructure budget — increased from $1.7 billion last year.

An extra 50,000 vocational education places will be created with a $29 million boost to the vocational education and training sector.

The Jobs for NSW fund will receive $190 million over four years, while the Smart, Skilled and Hired youth unemployment program will get $100 million over two years.

FALLING GST REVENUE

Forward estimates cap expenditure growth at 3 per cent in response to falling GST, which currently makes up about 25 per cent of state revenue.

"Ironically, we are the victims of our own success when it comes to the GST," Ms Berejiklian said.

The state is set to experience the biggest single year loss of its GST take in the consumption tax's history, taking a $3.8 billion hit as it is allocated just 81 per cent of its per capita share, down from the 95 per cent received in 2015-16. Had NSW had maintained its share at this level, the state would have reaped more than $10 billion in GST over the coming four years on top of the $70.67 billion that's been allocated.

In a reversal of fortunes, Queensland and Western Australia will get an increased share due to falling mining revenues.