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Chart o’ the day: Muddling through

Written By: - Date published: 12:14 pm, September 29th, 2011 - 21 comments
Categories: jobs - Tags:

National Employment Indicator – 46,710 fewer jobs now than in October 2008.

That’s what you get from a government that regards “muddling through” as economic leadership.

21 comments on “Chart o’ the day: Muddling through”

  1. John Dalley 1

    I don’t even thin John Key beleives what he says any more?

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      I don’t think he ever did – he only said what he said to get elected so that he could then sell out NZ to the highest overseas bidder of which he is probably one.

      • uke 1.1.1

        I think Key would be prepared to sell out to a fairly low bidder – if they were former mates from Merrill Lynch of BOA, for instance.

  2. jem 2

    How about you post something relevant…maybe with a little PERSPECTIVE!!

    Unemployment rates Globally.
    UK 2008 = 5.1%, 2011 = 7.9
    Greece 2008 = 7.5%, 2011 = 15%
    France 2008 = 7.5%, 2011 = 9.9%
    Norway 2008 = 2.3%, 2011 = 3.3%
    Spain 2008 = 9.2%, 2011 = 21.2%
    Poland 2008=6.9%, 2011= 9.4%
    USA 2008=5.6%, 2011=9.1%

    Notice a global trend by any chance? Or can you only open ONE eye?

    • thejackal 2.1

      This makes it even worse. Key knew there was a worldwide economic crisis and still he made a raft of election promises that he and National have completely failed to deliver on.

      Closing the gap with Australia now turns into a low wage economy is good for business.

      Raising living standards now turns into raising the cost of living and increasing inequality.

      Reducing unemployment now turns into increasing unemployment, and the best key can do is lie about the cold hard facts of the matter. Notice a trend anyone?

  3. Oligarkey 3

    Jem – i agree, we should be adopting policies that are similar to Norway’s. Well pointed out.

    • AAMC 3.1


      Why is Key endorsing the Economic Ideology which has plainly failed all of those countries you’ve listed jem?

  4. jem 4

    One of the few countries in the world to have actually reduced their unemployment is Germany..2008=8.2%, 2011=6.1%.

    They happen to have had a centre-right government for the last 3 years….Interesting isn’t it. 🙂

    • Kaplan 4.1

      Jem, You use the German example to say that a centre right government equals dropping unemployment.
      Yet New Zealand’s unemployment has risen?
      Do we not have a centre right government?
      Or do we have a centre right government that is failing? As per the subject of this post.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      Germany’s government is centre-right similar to our Labour. Our government is radical-right authoritarian similar to Mussolini and other hard right dictators.

  5. Oligarkey 5

    haha – well done Jem. That said, unemployment isn’t so important as employment rate. People who are discouraged from seeking employment (i.e wages are too crap), and instead chose to study, or be reliant on a partner are not counted amongst the unemployed. So unemployment isn’t such a meaningful statistic. Savvy?

    What you need to be looking at is employment rate. I think that the Scandinavian countries do best there.

    • jem 5.1

      Oligarkey, thanks for the clarification mate. good to know.

      Oh and PS.
      Thanks for the friendly, polite response. All too often people get emotional & overly nasty in these blogs 🙂

      • clandestino 5.1.1

        I’m sorry but if you think a German centre-right government in any way resembles an Anglo-Saxon one you are very wrong.

        Germany’s state-directed, and EU subsidised capitalism does not back up what I presume are you’re economic beliefs.

        • jem


          All I was really trying to do was add a few “other” figures in, to balance out the discussion.
          Showing the chart above and making a judgement is meaningless unless you can compare it to some other base figures.

          I added my figures to allow people to get some perspective on our economic situation… be greatful we don’t live in Spain for a start. Life is good, the sun is shining, we should all smile more 🙂 🙂

          • clandestino

            Yeah I get that but so what?

            The base figures don’t mean shit if you aren’t looking at the structures producing those base figures. The fact is Germany has benefited from 50 odd years of European solidarity (and subsidisation), to the benefit of their manufacturing industries (and associated tech) and, in the main, French agriculture. This was a deal struck at the start of the European Coal and Steel Community. This doesn’t include direct government funded RnD and an education system designed to target talent early and nurture it.

            I just think people are naive at times looking at statistics and the shade of government that day, and correlating as if it proves causation. It doesn’t. Being a good Marxist (as you may tell) political history is often enough the truth of the matter.

      • Ianupnorth 5.1.2

        But you missed that they invest heavily in R&D, import cheap labour and export lots of value added products.
        We produce timber, which we send overseas to be made into furniture and paper; we also produce milk powder, which goes overseas to be reprocessed.
        Maybe if we started making things and investing in our future the unemployment rates would decrease. But hang on, in Germany they have decent housing, a living wage and a society that genuinely cares for each other.

        • jem

          I completely agree with you.. but companies like Fontera need to start turning our milk into Value Added products rather than just sell the raw materials.

          As someone who is involved in this industry, internationally, I have, for a long time, found it hard to understand why Fontera do not start getting into niche markets..especially Infant Formula which is a huge business in Asia. But this is not related to the government in any way, it is driven by fontera .

          Same with the timber industry.

          Following on from that, Paykels sent their manufacturing off-shore…why? Because our minimum wage is too high! so we cant compete internationally. To stay competitive internationally, we need to be financially competitive which means lower minimum wages as these are the people why generally work in the factories.

          FYI, a fontera basic operator earns a base salary of approx $60k / year plus double time for any days extra they do a week. In a financial year most of them earn more than i do as an unskilled labourer than i do as a qualified Engineer,

          • Draco T Bastard

            To stay competitive internationally, we need to be financially competitive which means lower minimum wages as these are the people why generally work in the factories.

            The minimum wage is there to ensure that people working have enough to live on (IMO, it’s about $5 per hour too low). If you drop that amount more people would fall into poverty. In fact, they will effectively be paying to go to work probably through government subsidies such as WfF and accommodation supplement.

            The way to address this in the “competitive” market is to make more factories that require less workers but that will, of course, increase unemployment – Catch 22. As I’ve said before, an increase in productivity must result in deflation. In this case a decrease in the required number of people but because the “market” requires more people (growth) so as to pay for the usury of the banksters the government keeps trying to increase the population (why else do you think that they get upset when people leave?).

            The Catch 22 can be addressed by getting more and more people into R&D, arts and culture but the capitalists don’t want to pay for that either directly or indirectly through government taxation (this is why our R&D sucks and why we keep having to import film producers).

          • AAMC

            I had a friend working as a straight A science grad in a Fontera lab; she moved to Melbourne, and is now earning more in a second hand clothing shop than she was here.

  6. happynz 6

    To stay competitive internationally, we need to be financially competitive which means lower minimum wages as these are the people why generally work in the factories.

    These are the people why generally work in factories? Huh?

  7. Afewknowthetruth 7


    Some important points you missed.

    1. All government statistics are massaged to make unemployment look lower that it is, GDP look higher than it is, inflation look lower than it is etc.


    2. The reason Noway has been doing well is because it has had massive oil revenues and a low population. That oil welath has supported all kinds of activities that would not otherwise be viable.

    3. The reason Germany was doing better than most other nations was because it was able to provide high quality engineering services (most other nations scuttled theirs in favour of service economies). Germany is coming to the end of a fairly good run now that China has acquired all the technology it needs and can offer it to the rest of the world at 1/4 the price Germany can.

    The whole globalised industrial system is moving rapidly towards the collapse phase because the oil extraction has peaked (along with the extraction of numerous other resources to essential to industrialism). That’s before we even consider the accumulating environmental debt.

    What is interesting is that many of us say the same thing over and over, week after week, and people still don’t get it.

    Game over! Industrialism is almost dead (and that includes things like tourism). The old paradigms are failing catastrophically, and attempts to prop them up are self-defeating.

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