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Any way you cut it, National’s failed on jobs

Written By: - Date published: 10:06 am, November 14th, 2012 - 14 comments
Categories: jobs - Tags:

It was a bizarre Question Time yesterday with Key, English, and Joyce all answering questions on the dire jobs numbers and giving contradictory excuses. Key said the HLFS unemployment number is the right figure to use but it ‘jumps around a lot’. English blamed the international situation. Joyce said we should look at benefit numbers and, besides, we were doing well internationally. But the truth of it is that, any way you cut it, National has failed on jobs.

Lets go through all the indicators.

The main one is the unemployment rate. At 7.3%, this is at its highest level this century. It is up from 4.2% when they entered office – a 74% rise under National.

Next, the number of unemployed people. At 175,000, this is at its highest level in 20 years. It is up from 97,000 when they entered office – an 80% rise under National.

Next, the number of jobless people (this is the unemployed plus people who want to work but aren’t looking ‘actively’ enough to count at unemployed – eg, they’re only looking in the newspaper). At 295,000, this is at its highest level ever. It is up from 126,000 when they entered office – a 65% rise under National.

Next, the number of underemployed people (those with a job, wanting more hours than they can get – eg. part-time workers wanting to go full-time). At 113,300, this is up 31,000 from 82,000 when they entered office – a 38% rise under National.

Next, the number of employed people. At 2,218,000, this is up just 8,000 in the last year and a half, despite a promise in Budget 2011 of 170,000 more people in work. It is up just from 24,000 when they entered office – a 1% rise under National vs a 5% increase in the working age population.

Next, the number of filled jobs. At 1,714,500, this is down 13,000 when they entered office – a 1% fall under National.

Next, the number of  people on the unemployment benefit. At 50,400, this is up 27,100 from 23,300 when they entered office – a 116% rise under National. (wasn’t it pathetic when Paula Bennett starting reading the wanted ads in Parliament yesterday to insinuate there were plenty of jobs, people were just not looking for them? The truth is, yes new jobs are being created all the time but more are being destroyed at the same time, and that’s why there’s more and more people unable to find work)

Finally, the number of  people on all benefits. At 321,000, this is up by 51,000 from 260,000 when they entered office – a 23% rise under National.

So, it’s awful however you look at it… and that’s without even going into things like the number of manufacturing jobs, now at its lowest level on record.

But isn’t it just the rest of the world’s fault? Aren’t we do well relative to the rest of the world? Not according to OECD stats presented by Russel Norman in Parliament yesterday, which show our increase in unemployment as been over 50% larger than the OECD average in the past four years – 3.1% in New Zealand, 2% on average in the OECD.

Not according to those same statistics, which show that in 15 of the 34 OECD countries, unemployment has dropped in the last year and he only countries to have an increase of our size or larger are Greece, Israel, Italy, Portugal, and Spain.

And not according to Statistics New Zealand, which says our ranking has gone from 6th lowest unemployment in the OECD four years ago to 15th lowest today.


14 comments on “Any way you cut it, National’s failed on jobs”

  1. Craig Glen Eden 1

    Another broken promise by Key and National so much for their economic credibility..

  2. Chris 2

    Just heard key will be “catching up” with Chas and Cam today and he will be filling them in on New Zealand seeing as “the man will be king of NZ one day”Would love to be privy to that conversation!How will he spin his dismal showing as national leader who has led us nowhere.Even his cycleways ended up going nowhere. Bet he blames Labour!

  3. Well these are the scary numbers pushing me overseas, have the last job interview for a vaguely decent job this week. But the impressions I get is that they want people with lots of experience, as they have so many people applying for jobs that they have no choice but to go for the best qualified or that have the most experience. Gone are the days when I first got a job (in 08), with no police checks and the ability to walk into a supermarket, a bank,etc and get a full time job.

    But keep in mind that the National cult ignores reality, so they will vote him back in. All we can hope for is that by 2014 most voters wake up and see the homeless on the streets, I have seen at least 10 young people walking in central Wellington with sleeping bags over the last two weeks.

  4. hellonearthis 4

    Has anyone looked at the jobs that Bennett read from the wanted ads? It would be interesting to know who many people applied for those positions. Could it be like the supermarket where there are 30 jobs and 1000 applications.

    The Govt has many excuses as to why there are no jobs but only one plan to support new jobs and that plan is to do nothing and hope that it will all be ok.

    This National Govt are being short sighted slackers in working for New Zealand. Worst NZ Govt ever, they are even making Robs think big look like a good plan *shivers*.

    • Well for most jobs they have hundreds, for example for the new supermarket at Newtown over several days interviewed between 300-500 people, when they were going to transfer large numbers of staff from closing down supermarkets in other areas of Wellington. So those jobs she was pointing out, would probably have hundreds sending in their CV’s and barely any getting a job; also most companies are forced to advertise by law or by contract with recruitment companies [even if they have already found people for the jobs]. So her job ads are misleading at best, at worse straight out decietful.

  5. tsmithfield 5

    Both these numbers, and the employment numbers released the other day, are paradoxically a case of bad news = good news. The reason being that the NZ dollar has dropped against both the USD and the AU on the increasing expectation of a rate cut by our RB, thus easing some of the pain on our exporters. Had the numbers surprised to the upside, then the NZD would have strengthened instead, increasing the pain for our exporters.

  6. tracey 6

    Key in 2008

    “•Why, after eight years of Labour, are we paying the second-highest interest rates in the developed world?
    •Why, under Labour, is the gap between our wages, and wages in Australia and other parts of the world, getting bigger and bigger?
    •Why, under Labour, do we only get a tax cut in election year, when we really needed it years ago?
    •Why are grocery and petrol prices going through the roof?
    •Why can’t our hardworking kids afford to buy their own house?
    •Why is one in five Kiwi kids leaving school with grossly inadequate literacy and numeracy skills?
    •Why, when Labour claim they aspire to be carbon-neutral, do our greenhouse gas emissions continue to rise at an alarming rate?
    •Why hasn’t the health system improved when billions of extra dollars have been poured into it?
    •Why is violent crime against innocent New Zealanders continuing to soar and why is Labour unable to do anything about it??

    …This time a year ago, I talked about the underclass that has been allowed to develop in New Zealand. Labour said the problem didn’t exist. They said there was no underclass in New Zealand.

    But who now could deny it? 2007 showed us its bitter fruits. The dramatic drive-by shooting of two-year-old Jhia Te Tua, caught in a battle between two gangs in Wanganui. The incidence of typhoid, a Third World disease, reaching a 20-year high. The horrific torture and eventual death of three-year-old Nia Glassie. The staggering discovery of a lost tribe of 6,000 children who are not enrolled at any school.

    …We will not sweep problems under the carpet. We will not meet the country’s challenges by quietly lowering our expectations.”

  7. Richard Down South 7

    take into account the people who left for aussie, and it gets worse

    • McFlock 7.1

      Next year we find out whether there’s been a rot, and how bad. 
      At the moment people are working with obsolete census projections. Especially when you get down to the regional level, these can vary wildly from where they end up by recalibration with the actual census survey.
      And the closer you want to look, that worse it gets – deprivation is 11 (including no response) cuts on the total, and then if you look at somewhere like East Cape you might find that the actual rates of XYZ are out by a factor of five or ten at the “per thousand” level. 
      The government had better hope that the population changes have not been hit too badly over the last 6 years – if the population in an area went down, a static number might actually be a concerning increase in rate, and the updated population estimates will be entering the publication sector in 2014 (so a limited time to manage the damage).

  8. I don’t write in my blog very often, for obvious reasons (as I am likely moving countries soon). But I think I got it right when I stated the following:

    “[…]Otherwise the pain will continue to go on, and eventually (if we aren’t careful) everything we have fought and died for in the second world war will be for nothing. We will have abandoned the notion that the individual human life is worth something, and in doing so adopted the National Socialist ideal that the weak in society ‘deserve to die’ . Austerity supporters don’t believe in human rights, only economic efficiency and greed; and greed not in a good way, a kind of greed that stipulates for a return to feudalism and serfdom for the middle and working class.[…]”

  9. Well done to Denise Roche in Parliament today (14th Nov)

    “…when did crime and misery become the cornerstone of the National Government’s job plan?”

    This is a catchy criticism, I hope that it spreads like wild-fire.

    Her previous question citing an Australian report’s findings that casinos, the Nats are so keen on, will cause {yet more] job losses, was spot on too:
    link to Parliament Today website

  10. tracey 10


    english is saying tht despite all the negative datat the economy is doing well. he must be using the same anecdotal evidence as the pm. it shows the circles both move in to be hearing anecdotally that ething us peachy…

    • Their adherence to tall stories is getting pretty extreme- pathological denial.
      “everything is peachy” lol good point re showing the circles they move in

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