Australia's Opposition Leader, Unemployment Rate, Anthony Albanese
"I'm Human," Australia's Opposition Leader Says, Ignoring the Unemployment Rate

Anthony Albanese, the leader of Australia’s opposition Labor Party, admitted Monday that he was only mortal after forgetting the country’s jobless rate on the first full day of election campaigns for the May 21 elections. Albanese’s party is leading polls in its bid to unseat Prime Minister Scott Morrison’s conservative coalition government. Many of the nation’s 17 million voters are concerned about the economy. When asked by a reporter about the national unemployment rate, Albanese stumbled, saying, “The jobless rate at the moment is, I think it is 5 point…4, sorry, I am not sure what it is.” Australia’s unemployment rate is at a 13-year low of 4.0 percent, a figure Morrison has emphasized as he warns voters not to put their faith in Labor to handle the economy.

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Albanese also avoided answering questions about the key interest rate that banks charge each other for overnight loans. The bank rate, also known as the cash rate, is 0.1 percent.

“I made a mistake earlier today. I’m only human, “Albanese started shortly after.

“But, if I make a mistake, I will admit it and work to correct it. I’m not going to blame anyone else. I will accept accountability. Leaders do things like this.”

According to the most recent Newspoll, Labor leads the Liberal-National Party coalition by 53 percent to 47 percent on a two-party basis.

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When confronted with similar questions later, Morrison provided the correct figures.

Within hours, a Liberal Party Facebook ad replayed a video of the opposition leader’s gaffe, with the punchline, “It won’t be easy under Albanese.”

Several polls show that the cost of living is a major concern ahead of the election, with gasoline prices skyrocketing since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.