web analytics


Written By: - Date published: 11:39 am, March 26th, 2009 - 35 comments
Categories: economy, employment, workers' rights - Tags:

The Key/English odd couple continue to give us a sweet and sour mix of messages – one with rosy promises that the recession will be over any day and the other issuing dark threats that we can’t have a stimulus package only public service cuts.

In the real world there is a real economic disaster going on.

We don’t know how bad it is in New Zealand yet because our unemployment statistics take months to be published, although the number of people on the dole has doubled since National came to power.

In the US they publish their unemployment figures every month and we can see this isn’t an ordinary recession.


This graph was produced in December. I’ve updated it for the last two months. I had to add more graph.

35 comments on “Gulp ”

  1. ieuan 1

    To be fair we are not the US. I’m not trying to pretend that there isn’t a recession going on, there is, but there are a number of factors that isolate us from the worst effects of the US meltdown.

    We need a NZ solution to help us climb out of recession and not a UK, US or even Australian solution.

  2. Liz 2

    Its silly articles like this that make the world go round so we can all laugh. “the number of people on the dole has doubled since National came to power”. Because Of course (here the sarcasm here) those are both related …. NOT! If labour had got in it wouldnt be any different 🙂
    Secondly, I dont recall ever hearing anyone of any importance saying that it will be over soon, only various media outlets and nobodies 🙂

  3. vto 3

    Its going to be the double-bottomed bottoming, as said a while ago. First, the first slump, followed by govt intervention to stabilise leading to a wobble period (current), which wont work, followed directly behind by the second slumpy bottom. It will all get rather yucky imo.

  4. gomango 4

    I’m not going to attempt to deny the scale of the US’s problems – which will be compounded in future years by the fiscal hole they are plunging down – but you’re not really showing the right series here. BTW your scale should be in millions of jobs not 1000’s. The two graphs which make better sense to readers are the month on month change in jobs (looks like a hockey stick) or the actual household survey unemployment rate (still climbing, up at 8.1%). Whats going to cause real pain to the people in the street is the inflation about to be unleashed. Country not to be? UK. Plunging down a path that will stymie growth there for a decade.

    You cant spend your way out of debt. Debt created the global crisis – not solving the debt problem only delays recovery.

    • ieuan 4.1

      ‘You cant spend your way out of debt. Debt created the global crisis – not solving the debt problem only delays recovery’

      No probably not, but most of the large cash injections in the US and UK economies have been to stabilise banks & insurance companies that are on the brink of failing.

      Only time will tell if this is the right course of action, but letting them fail and this causing a world wide domino effect is too horrible to contemplate.

      • Draco T Bastard 4.1.1

        It isn’t – they should have been allowed to fail.

        • TightyRighty

          hear hear

          • vto

            and here too.

            mind you – it would have been a bloodbath. Imagine the lines of people outside banks trying to withdraw their money. worldwide. Not to mention the insurance and fund companies and the like. It would have been the biggest panic in history. That panic was averted. Now it is just a slow sink to the same position that would have been had they been allowed to fail. Which leads to the question – was it the best option? Perhaps it was. Or rather, perhaps it was not done perfectly, as those who should have paid / lost have not paid / lost enough.

          • Travellerev

            Given that the current global financial system is based on Fiat money printed into existence out of thin air by a privately owned banking cartel and we are the suckers borrowing it against usurious interest in order to bail those selfsame banksters out perhaps it would be prudent to take back the right to print our own money and ditch the parasites then perhaps it wouldn’t have to come to long lines.

            Al that would be needed is to pay those small savers their money in a government issued interest free currency and dump the gambling (parasites) (strike through tag doesn’t work) junkies.

            And while were at it just think of that nice man John Key with his $50 million habit. No wonder he has that medicated happy look all the time. He’s on a permanent junkies high and in charge of the (hen house) dealers stash.

    • Snail 4.2

      talk of inflation now as some future strategy admits one very important thing..

      think about it – lest you (innocently) cast the first stone.. and know as you do that ignorance is no defence in the eyes of the law..

  5. all_your_base 5

    Liz, I don’t take Eddie to be blaming National – I certainly don’t hold them responsible for the recession. The date they came to power just seems like a good reference point.

    What I *will* hold them responsible for is an inadequate response to the crisis and their apparent desire to ram through right wing policies that strip from workers and families those protections they already have.

    From TVNZ on Monday:

    ‘Prime Minister John Key believes New Zealand will be heading out of recession quite strongly by the end of the year…

    “My view is by the end of 2009 we won’t be having negative quarters, 2010 will be an ‘up’ year, and 2011 will be a strong growth year,” he says.’


  6. DS 6

    The thing NZ often forgets is that its current recession is not actually part of the world-wide depression (yes, I used the ‘D’ word). It’s a home-grown one, driven entirely by high interest rates. This is the reason NZ has been looking good in comparison, with a thus-far relatively tame recession – the monster that has been causing chaos overseas is only just starting to hit us now.

    That said, that (in)famous graph of US unemployment is arguably a bit misleading – the US labour force is much larger today than it was in 1948 – losing a thousand jobs in 2009 is relatively less severe than losing 1000 jobs in 1948.

    • gingercrush 6.1

      Wrong. Yes we began a recession before others which was home-grown. But we would have been out of that recession by now. The reason we’re in recession longer is very much because of the international financial crisis. Labour changed their election campaign and likely dropped a number of policies because of the financial crisis.

    • gingercrush 6.2

      Wrong. New Zealand was in a home-grown recession. That is true. But the recession we have now is caused by the international financial crisis.If it was still home-grown we’d be out of it by now. Labour themselves undoubtedly had more policies planned but they removed them simply because the financial crisis had affected New Zealand so much

      We are however, in a very good position compared to other countries.

      I actually replied to this like 10-15 minutes ago but either there are cache problems or it didn’t send..

  7. The number of job losses isn’t the number you should be looking at – you need to weight it with respect to population growth. When you put it in that context the recession is still bad – but it doesn’t look nearly as dire as this graph indicates.

    I discussed it a while back here:


    and the Big Picture has it in per captia terms here (this is what I used in my post):


  8. Alex 8

    Be careful Liz. Disagreeing with anybody on here will get you labelled a troll and banned. They’re communists so they don’t like free speech.

    • Tane 8.1

      And yet your comment’s still here, and so is Liz’s. And all of Redbaiter’s. Strange given how much we Standardistas hate free speech, eh?

    • ghostwhowalks 8.2

      Alex, you may remember DPFs dictum.
      You can say what you like but not on my blog.
      Radio talkback follows a similar line.- I choose whether you come on air and if I dont like what you say then you get cut off.

    • Draco T Bastard 8.3

      The only thing you comment shows is the level of your ignorance. I suggest learning about something before you try to denigrate it.

  9. BLiP 9

    Is it just me or is anyone else getting sick of the use of the word “recession”? Its a misnomer; the correct term is ‘depression”.

    The international financial system is a myocardial infarction victim flopping about in the back of a decrepit ambulance hijacked by fleeing criminals yet inching its way through 5pm traffic on State Highway 1 at Ellerslie while being persued by a battalion of lawyers – and not a doctor in sight.

    I am aware of Bentley’s Second Law of Economics and the number of economists required to reach a conclusion yet, IMHO, those who insist on using “recession” to describe the current economic situation are deliberately obscuring truth and preventing us from adequately preparing for what is to come.

  10. RedLogix 10

    For those interested, there is a whole lot of great material on this topic here.

  11. r0b 11

    Cheers Matt – useful.

  12. infused 12

    The banks should have been allowed to fail. It’s the natural correction that needed to occur.

    Obamas plan of pumping shit loads of cash in to the economy is going to fail. Wait and see.

  13. Santi 13

    Message fo Dutch Einstein: We could be much worse off.
    Imagine if socialist Labour had won the election. We would be pretty stuffed by now.

    • Felix 13.1

      How so? Do you mean not only would we be in a global recession but you’d also be having a wee cry?

      Or do you think we would have lost more jobs? Earned less from exports? Please explain why.

      I imagine you must have some scientific, logical basis for your claim, but I do have an incredible imagination.

      p.s. when you call someone “Einstein” ironically, it’s not a good idea to reply to the wrong thread twice with spelling mistakes.

    • Felix 13.2

      yeah he’s a smart one – and I’ve just done it myself in a display of meta-irony.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Government's response to preliminary referendums' results
    Minister of Justice Andrew Little has acknowledged the provisional results of the two referendums voted on in the 2020 General Election. New Zealanders were asked whether they supported the proposed Cannabis Legalisation and Control Bill, and whether they supported the End of Life Choice Act 2019 coming into force. On ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • New testing requirements for international maritime crew arriving in NZ
    The Government is moving to provide further protection against the chance of COVID-19 entering New Zealand through the maritime border.  “Yesterday I instructed officials to consult with the maritime sector around tightening of the requirements for international maritime crew entering the country,” Health Minister Chris Hipkins said.  “Ultimately, this will ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 day ago
  • Fast-tracked Northland water project will accelerate economic recovery
    The Government has welcomed the decision to approve a new water storage reservoir in Northland, the first of a number of infrastructure projects earmarked for a speedy consenting process that aims to accelerate New Zealand’s economic recovery from Covid-19.  The Matawii Water Storage Reservoir will provide drinking water for Kaikohe, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Tokelau Language Week reminds us to stay united and strong
    Staying strong in the face of challenges and being true to our heritage and languages are key to preserving our cultural identity and wellbeing, is the focus of the 2020 Tokelau Language Week. Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio, says this year’s theme, ‘Apoapo tau foe, i nā tāfea ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • NZ announces a third P-3 deployment in support of UN sanctions
    The Government has deployed a Royal New Zealand Air Force P-3K2 Orion (P-3) maritime patrol aircraft to support the implementation of United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions imposing sanctions against North Korea, announced Minister of Foreign Affairs Winston Peters and Minister of Defence Ron Mark. “New Zealand has long supported ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Pacific trade and development agreement a reality
    Pacific regional trade and development agreement PACER Plus will enter into force in 60 days now that the required eight countries have ratified it. Trade and Export Growth Minister David Parker welcomed the announcement that the Cook Islands is the eighth nation to ratify this landmark agreement. “The agreement represents ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Securing a pipeline of teachers
    The Government is changing its approach to teacher recruitment as COVID-19 travel restrictions continue, by boosting a range of initiatives to get more Kiwis into teaching. “When we came into Government, we were faced with a teacher supply crisis,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “Over the past three years, we ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Border exceptions for a small number of international students with visas
    The Government has established a new category that will allow 250 international PhD and postgraduate students to enter New Zealand and continue their studies, in the latest set of border exceptions. “The health, safety and wellbeing of people in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. Tight border restrictions remain ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • First COVID-19 vaccine purchase agreement signed
    The Government has signed an agreement to purchase 1.5 million COVID-19 vaccines – enough for 750,000 people – from Pfizer and BioNTech, subject to the vaccine successfully completing all clinical trials and passing regulatory approvals in New Zealand, say Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods and Health Minister Chris Hipkins. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • International statement – End-to-end encryption and public safety
    We, the undersigned, support strong encryption, which plays a crucial role in protecting personal data, privacy, intellectual property, trade secrets and cyber security.  It also serves a vital purpose in repressive states to protect journalists, human rights defenders and other vulnerable people, as stated in the 2017 resolution of the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Ministry of Defence Biodefence Assessment released
    The Ministry of Defence has today released a Defence Assessment examining Defence’s role across the spectrum of biological hazards and threats facing New Zealand. Biodefence: Preparing for a New Era of Biological Hazards and Threats looks at how the NZDF supports other agencies’ biodefence activities, and considers the context of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago