READING economic tea leaves really isn't much different to judging a cook's sauce.
You look at the ingredients going in and make an assessment of what is likely to be the result.
In economics, the ingredients are statistics and I'm about to lead you through the ingredients of a very strange sauce.
The recent Resources Sector Skills Needs Report commissioned by a government department declared that there are 22,000 skilled operations jobs to be filled in the Liquid Natural Gas industry in this country.
In Gladstone, there are some 9000-10,000 jobs to go when the construction phase on Curtis Island comes to an end.
The 2011 census found that 25% of Australians were born overseas and that around 50% were not born here, or have at least one parent who was not born here.
This compares with 13% in the US and just 9% in Europe.
From 2001-2011, the number of immigrants emanating from Europe including Great Britain fell from 52% to 40% and those from Asia jumped from 24% to 33%.
The biggest influx last year was from India (148,000) with the Land of the Long White Cloud supplying 93,000.
The cruncher is that 70% of our migrant intake has been job-ready, "skilled". Protests that they are here taking "our" jobs is an absolute furphy.
They have obviously been bolstering skills urgently needed in Australia.
Bad enough, but the disturbing fact is that 48,000 Australians left the country last year - double the number of a decade ago.
Some 50% of those leaving our shores are former migrants, but 40% of them are not going to their former home.
They are globetrotters looking for well-paid skilled work in NZ, Singapore, Hong Kong, the UK and USA, mainly.
It's quite simply a disturbing skills drain.
To finish, let's add a couple of final ingredients.
The Abbot government has scuttled the $24.9 million that was supposed to go to the CQ University campus to set up the energy training centre - 140 training places, 67 construction jobs in Gladstone now kaput.
That same Abbot government has found $20 million in its forward estimates to provide to newly weds for marriage counselling.
Need I say more?
Bob Lamont is director of Corporate Accountants situated at the Night Owl centre. He can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org.