Job queues longer

Written By: - Date published: 2:28 pm, August 24th, 2010 - 14 comments
Categories: bill english, economy, jobs, john key, unemployment - Tags:

In his recent speech to the National Party Conference, John Key was smiling and waving as usual:

I also want to pay a special acknowledgement to my friend and deputy, Bill English. What a great job he is doing as Finance Minister. He’s delivered two Budgets that have steered New Zealand out of recession and put the economy firmly back on track to grow and create jobs.

I’m sure the assembled knobs lapped it up and clapped enthusiastically. What planet do they live on I wonder? Back on planet Earth in the pavlova paradise called New Zealand, unemployment is up and job queues are getting longer.

Back in January Eddie wrote a piece — The sharpest edge of the recession — on how 2,500 people had queued for 150 jobs at a newly opening supermarket. Well after another 6 months of great economic management from John and Bill, that figure has shifted. It’s gone up. This time 2,700 people queued:

2700 applicants for 150 jobs

When a new supermarket opened today in Auckland it created 150 new jobs, but that was a small comfort for the 2550 people who applied for jobs there and missed out.

Labour leader Phil Goff arrived in Wellington mid-morning today because he had been opening a New World supermarket in his Mt Roskill electorate. The owner operator told Mr Goff 2700 people had applied for the 150 positions created in the new store. “I had to ask the question – where is John Key’s recovery for the ordinary people in my electorate?”

Where indeed. Tories like to portray the unemployed as lazy layabouts who just need to get up off the sofa and get a job. Next time you meet such a tory, here’s your answer. The people are looking for work. Thousands of them. But the jobs aren’t there. In a further reality check for the government:

Mr Goff said supermarket owners had told him this was the worst period they could remember in retailing and they were concerned about further impacts from the rise in GST. “People are finding it hard to make ends meet now, that extra two and a half percent on top of all their groceries is just going to make life harder for them.”

How much more great economic management from John and Bill can the country stand?

14 comments on “Job queues longer”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    After reading the first paragraph and Key’s quote, I quickly checked for a ‘satire’ tag on this post. I’m not kidding.

  2. Pete 2

    Bootstraps are what the 2,550 in the article need to focus on – it clearly worked for Key and Bennett (right?).

    If it doesn’t work for these applicants then it is evidence that they clearly aren’t trying hard enough and should be punished and scrutinised within an inch of their lives (and why should we care about their families either – ‘childhood poverty in NZ’, and many ‘have-nots’ you say? As if – it doesn’t exist in Parnell, therefore it doesn’t exist…).

  3. zimmer 3

    Maybe we needed an American Stimulus package and we could now have 10% unemployment.
    Deciples at this site don’t want mining and if they had their way dairy would also be halved so unemployment will be higher. And you want more green taxes, gee that will create growth needed to create jobs.
    Maybe we need to cut benefits, free money not a right and sack the drivel service so we have money to invest in tangibles instead of Social policy.

    • Bright Red 3.1

      zimmer. maybe we should have had Aussie’s stimulus package and we could have 5.3% unemployment.

      The US stimulus packages, passed under both presidents, clearly helped prevent the world going into depression. 10% is good comapred to the alternative.

      • Craig Glen Eden 3.1.1

        Zimmer what an idiot! People are not anti mining just anti mining in schedule 4 land, but I am sure you know that aye dimmer. What a brighter future we have with National and dimmer.

  4. Ron 4

    Interesting that MSD reps are saying “we are coming out of the recession and job demand is increasing” in answer to questions about the new TOPS structures. I guess one way of getting dole queues down is stick people on courses. make the courses short so there is an “outcomes” and then stand them down for a couple of weeks when they can’t actually get a job afterward.
    captcha : revealing

    • Deborah Kean 4.1

      Exactly Ron! “Job demand is increasing”… I shall believe it when I see it!

  5. Lazy Susan 5

    Credit where credit’s due Rob. John & Bill have created numerous new jobs for the boys in their countless patsy “working groups” set up to produce the answers they want to hear.

    All good things take time. Just be patient and before long you will see a whole lot of extra jobs created by this governments policies. Hundreds of new oportunities in the prison service, private security firms and the police will soon be up for grabs.

    Captcha: ‘lazy’ as in NAct lazy thinking

  6. Jenny 6


    Well known Aucklander Simon Prast writes an open letter to the Prime Minister about his uncles suicide.


    Prime Minister,
    On the night of August 18, 2010, my uncle Bruce Arnold took his own life. He was 60 years old. He leaves behind a wife and son.

    After a long struggle with your various mental health and ACC agencies, unemployment and depression finally got the better of him.

    Is Simon Prast right?

    Does the Prime MInister have “blood on his hands”?

    According to the research team at the Wellington School of Medicine, men and women aged 25 to 44, and men who were aged 45 to 64 who were unemployed were two to three times more likely to commit suicide as their employed peers.

    Unemployment Can Triple the Risk of Suicide: A Bad Economy …

    With companies across the country laying people off, no one is safe from unemployment in a bad economy. The links between unemployment and suicide are more evident in the older, male population.

    Is Key concerned?

    Not a bit.

    Key’s political policy direction is to pander to the economic wreckers, the banksters, the booze barons, and currently in legislation facing the house, the EMA and the business Round Table who want to make sacking workers easier.

    In my opinion, the nick name “Smiling Assassin” earned from his fellow money traders when Key used to move amongst them, could nowadays, just as easily describe how John Key operates in his political career.

    *By putting his accusation in the form of an open letter, Simon Prast is continuing the proud tradition used to challenge political injustice, famously pioneered by Emil Zola.

    Let us all hope that Simon Prast’s open letter has the same effect of wiping the smile off the face of the establishment figures like John Key, so that they begin to take unemployment seriously.

    • Bill 6.1

      Back in the Thatcher years an unemployed guy doused himself in Downing Street and then torched himself. I can’t remember his name, but I dare say a ‘google search’ will bring up some details.

      The point that he was unemployed and struggling like fuck in a society that was being dismantled and destroyed around him would have had an impact. I guess. His suicide had absolutely no impact on government policy though. None. Oh, it might have contributed to the reasoning behind fencing off Downing Street, but nothing else.

      But I wonder what the impact of unemployment (or retirement for that matter) would be if we didn’t allow our lives to be so completely measured, marked and evaluated by economic criteria?

      It seems too obvious to say, but unless you have already secured some degree of financial stability, the pursuit of any vocation that does not involve or lead to an accumulation of financial reward as a component or a possible component is ‘off the cards’.

      So we might say that the middle classes have a little ‘luxury’ that the working classes literally cannot explore and develop some of their human potential regardless of financial reward.

      It might be of interest to break down the background of the likes of society’s artists and compare the numbers of those who come from reasonably financially secure background as against those who don’t and compare that to the overall societal ratio of the financially secure to those who aren’t. Maybe not.

      But if all there is is working to put food on the table and pay the bills and not much wriggle room for anything else that might enhance and enrich, then we’re not really equipped to survive the taking away of the ability to work to put food on the table, regardless of whether that happens through redundancy, retirement or whatever other reason because our totality has been reduced to, or never grown beyond our potential to earn.

      • Jenny 6.1.1


        So we might say that the middle classes have a little ‘luxury’ that the working classes literally cannot explore

        One of the “luxuries” that the (mainly white) middle classes in this country can, and often do, “explore” particularly during a recession, is their role in society as the majority of foremen and managers. In a recession this mainly Pakeha middle class act as gate keepers for the dwindling pool of jobs available.

        From the Herald yesterday:

        In the year to June, the Maori unemployment rate rose from 12.0 to 14.3 percent, the Pacific unemployment rate increased from 12.8 to 14.1 percent, and the Asian unemployment rate rose from 7.8 to 10.5 percent, compared with a rise from 4.0 to 4.4 percent for European New Zealanders.
        Increasing rates of youth unemployment were more worrying, particularly for Maori, Pacific people and Asians.

        The unemployment rate for 15-to-19-year-olds was now 41.4 percent for Maori, 43.3 percent for Pacific youths, and 28.4 percent for Asians, compared with 21.7 percent for Europeans.

        These sorts of figures are particularly worrying to the Race Relations Office of Joris De Bres. The figures reveal that social scourge of unemployment is falling most heavily on minority groups who have less political weight in society. Being racially selective, unemployment increases social disharmony and the spread of racist and fascist ideas as to the causes of unemployment and the recession.

        Discrimination needs to be addressed – De bres

        So why is unemployment racially selective?

        I was listening to John Tamahere and Willie Jackson on the Radio in my car, when they both commented on the progressively changing colour of the faces of roadside workers as the recession deepened.

        I have personal experience of how this works.

        In 2008 when the recession hit, the managers where I worked started finding jobs for their newly jobless sons and daughters at our workplace. Less than a couple of months after all these new starts, the company started a round of redundancies.

        None of the new starts were in the cull.

        Reflecting their majority population in this country, all the managers were Europeans, therefore so were all their relatives. Most of those laid off at my job were either Maori or Islander.

    • Vicky32 6.2

      “Is Simon Prast right?

      Does the Prime MInister have “blood on his hands’?

      According to the research team at the Wellington School of Medicine, men and women aged 25 to 44, and men who were aged 45 to 64 who were unemployed were two to three times more likely to commit suicide as their employed peers.”
      True. That has happened in my family.

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