Oamaru lost 192 jobs on Thursday as its second-largest employer, Summit Wool Spinners, closed its doors. The knock-down effect could claim hundreds more in a town with a workforce of only 7,000. Events like this can cripple a small town and consign the workers to long-term unemployment. Now, the Greens have revealed that long-term unemployment has quadrupled with John Key at the helm.
Yes, the economic wunderkind’s record is that the number of Kiwis in long-term unemployment – six months out of work – has risen from just 14,000 when Key came to office to 55,000 today. I see a lot of the Oamaru workers joining that statistic. It’s easy to say ‘move to find work elsewhere’ but when your partner has work in town, and you’ve got a mortgage and you can’t afford a big city house, and your work experience is 25 years as a highly skilled but specialised wool spinner, it’s easier said than done.
They’re blaming the high dollar, but that’s just another way our blaming an indifferent, uncaring government of financiers, wide boys, and career analysts.