Reports say that close to a third of jobs created last year were for the NDIS.

New research underscores the significant expansion of the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), revealing that a high proportion of all jobs created last year were linked to services for the burgeoning program. 

The NDIS, with a current valuation at $42 billion, has been a key factor driving federal government spending to near-record proportions of GDP. 

Projections warn of costs soaring to $125 billion annually by 2034, posing a serious challenge to government budget management efforts.

The data, sourced from investment bank Jarden, reportedly shows that out of 437,000 individuals who found employment in the year leading to February, approximately 130,000 were engaged in NDIS-related sectors such as allied health and non-childcare social assistance. 

This employment surge represents 30 per cent of the annual job growth, despite these roles comprising just 6 per cent of the job market. 

Economists attribute the public sector's robust employment figures to the NDIS's extensive funding, contrasting with the private sector's hiring deceleration.

Without NDIS-related employment, the unemployment rate would hypothetically climb to 4.6 per cent from February's 3.7 per cent. 

While public sector employment surged by 6 per cent, sensitive areas of the private sector like construction and retail saw a mere 1.4 per cent growth. 

This data comes as Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Treasurer Jim Chalmers promote Labor's job creation record. Despite bold claims about generating 1000 jobs daily over the first 21 months in office, adjustments for labour force growth since 1987 indicate similar or higher employment growth rates under previous administrations.

The Albanese government is embarking on an overhaul of the NDIS in an effort to drive down its 23 per cent annual growth rate to 8 per cent by 2026. 

As participant numbers reached 646,000 by December 2023, the scheme's costs threaten to surpass the $42 billion budgeted for 2023-24, in part due to an increase in children with autism and developmental delays entering the program. 

Recent legislation introduced in Parliament aims to streamline the NDIS by facilitating the transition of children to state programs when appropriate.

Also this week, Social Services Minister Amanda Rishworth has announced the draft of a National Autism Strategy, seeking public feedback to shape policies aimed at improving the lives of over 205,000 Autistic Australians. 

The strategy focuses on healthcare, education, and employment to foster social and economic inclusion.