web analytics

Paula Bennett prematurely opens the champagne, again

Written By: - Date published: 10:31 am, April 20th, 2010 - 8 comments
Categories: jobs, unemployment - Tags: ,

For about a year now, Paula Bennett has been almost continuously proclaiming victory over unemployment.

First, it was the fact that unemployment only rose gradually at the start of the recession (due to the self-reinforcing effect of low unemployment and companies having plenty of over-time to cut).

Then, when unemployment leaped 1% in just 3 months it was ‘well, our unemployment rate is lower than Aussie’s, so we must be handling the recession better, dumb Aussie and their stimulus plan’.

When Australian unemployment peaked and then started falling to the point where their rate now a full 2% below ours (the first time in a decade theirs has been lower) they started comparing us to the OECD average instead and proclaiming the success of ‘job ops’ which everyone knows is just a rort for employers.

Then unemployment benefit numbers jumped an unprecedented 13.2% in a month.

I thought Bennett had finally learned about things like seasonal variation when she didn’t try to cover herself in glory over the normal Feb-March drop in unemployment numbers. But I was being too optimistic.

Now, Bennett is trying to claim victory because the number of job vacancy ads is rising. The Department of Labour produces a monthly index of the number of job ads. It started at 100 in May 2007, it fell to 55 in June last year and now stands at 67.

Bennett is all excited because 67 is more than 55. But is it the good news she seems to think?

Obviously, for unemployment to be stable there have to be a certain number of vacancies in every month for people joining the workforce, others whose previous jobs have been lost in the normal churn of businesses, and still more for the normal churn of employees. More than that number of vacancies and unemployment will fall, fewer and it will rise.

I compared the job ads index to Stats’ unemployment rate numbers to see what the link was. Turns out change in unemployment rate and job ads index level are highly correlated (-0.76).

The bad news is it looks like we are still, a year after the official end of the recession, not at the point where the economy is creating enough jobs to keep unemployment in check, let alone bring it down.

It seems you need a job ads index reading of about 100 for unemployment to be steady. Once it dips below 80, unemployment takes off.

The last quarter that the index stood near where it is now in the late 60s was the March 09 quarter when unemployment rose 0.3%. So, it looks likely that a rise to 7.5% in the next unemployment rate update isn’t out of the question.

I’m very surprised and disappointed. I thought we would be heading back down by now. We may not be losing jobs as fast as we were but, incredibly, this indicator suggests that unemployment is going to keep rising for some months yet.

How far away we seem now from the four years of sub-4% unemployment that we enjoyed under Labour, a government that, unlike National, actually cared about helping Kiwis get work.

8 comments on “Paula Bennett prematurely opens the champagne, again ”

  1. Your last sentence sums it up. One of the cornerstone principles of the Labour Party is a commitment to full employment.

    One of the hidden cornerstone principles of the National party is complete indifference if not an objection to full employment. Remember Smile and Wave’s “we would love to see wages drop”?

    Unemployment serves National well. It achieves:

    1. Downward pressue on wages, particularly if they change the Industrial Relations system in a way their mates want them to.
    2. It serves their sense of superiority – “ooh look at that unemployed person who is responsible for his or her plight and I am such a great person because I am wealthy”.
    3. It also gives them political attack targets so they can blow on the CT dogwhistle and give a sector of their support something to rail against.

    Bring back Helen!

  2. Rex Widerstrom 2

    Clearly the poor woman has diffculty processing information that isn’t presented in pictorial form (preferably in crayon). So can I suggest Mr Key assist her grasp of statistics as follows:

    1. Tell her her Ministerial salary is being sut to $55,000 (still more than many NZers have to get by on).
    2. Then yell “Surprise! I was only kidding… we’re going to pay you $67,000!! Isn’t that great news!”

    [micky, I was with you right up to the last line and then you lost me completely. I’m all for recycling, but not when the waste is toxic 😛 ]

  3. Draco T Bastard 3

    Looking at that it seems that a job index of:
    100 will keep unemployment steady
    less than 100 will increase unemployment and
    greater than 100 will decrease unemployment

    One of the hidden cornerstone principles of the National party is complete indifference if not an objection to full employment.

    Remember Blinglish saying that getting unemployment down below 6% was impossible? That figure is the neo-liberal holy grail – Milton Friedman got a noble laureate for coming up with that figure. Unemployment lower than that and you get “wage inflation” (businesses have to compete to attract workers and so have to pay more) and higher than that and the people start to revolt as their living standards decline as wages are pushed down.

    • Marty G 3.1

      The 100 level is just the base month – May 2007. But yeah, it looks like that happens to be around the steady level too.

  4. tim 4

    Note: Job ADS are on the rise……..which is actually not a true reflection of the number of jobs available.
    Job ‘agencies’ once used to continue to advertise jobs that had been filled, and of course a number of agencies are actually advertising the SAME job – especially ‘professional’ jobs.
    All agencies want prospective candidates on their books.
    As a former employer, this I know. The number of times several agencies sent in C.Vs for the same candidate (even when they’ve asked a candidate for exclusive agency – a bit like real estate) I lost count of.
    But more fool employers. And more fool the gubbermint

  5. Irascible 5

    Paula has obviously been drinking deeply at the Tory trough and briefing room. Here’s the over privileged Cameron on the UK beating the same drum.
    http://www.guardian.co.uk/politics/blog/2010/apr/20/1
    The right wing selfish few seem to have been issued the same hymn book.

  6. tc 6

    Bennett continues to show her grasp of primary school maths is as good as it gets yet where is the opposition puncturing her over inflated claims ?
    MS has a nice post but agree with Rex on the last line….Goff’s got that recycled/tired/disinterested feel about him and continues to talk over the swinging voters heads….if there’s ever enough to make a useable soundbite out of.

    It’s not bring back Helen time it’s dump Goff time but can anyone see labour admitting the next cab off the rank was the wrong cab…….highly unlikely as they lack the ruthlessness required IMHO.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • 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
    1 day 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
    5 days 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week 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
    1 week ago
  • New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020
    New Approaches to Economic Challenges: Confronting Planetary Emergencies: OECD 9 October 2020 Hon David Parker’s response following Thomas Piketty and Esther Duflo. Good morning, good afternoon, and good evening, wherever in the world you might be. I first acknowledge the excellent thought provoking speeches of Thomas Piketty and Esther ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Kaipara Moana restoration takes next step
    A Memorandum of Understanding has been signed today at Waihāua Marae between the Crown, local iwi and councils to protect, restore and enhance the mauri of Kaipara Moana in Northland. Environment Minister David Parker signed the document on behalf of the Crown along with representatives from Ngā Maunga Whakahī, Ngāti ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • New Zealand and Uruguay unite on reducing livestock production emissions
    Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor and Uruguayan Minister of Livestock, Agriculture and Fisheries Carlos María Uriarte have welcomed the launch of a three-year project that will underpin sustainable livestock production in Uruguay, Argentina, and Costa Rica.  The project called ‘Innovation for pasture management’ is led by Uruguay’s National Institute of Agricultural ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • 3100 jobs created through marae upgrades
    Hundreds of marae throughout the country will be upgraded through investments from the Provincial Growth Fund’s refocused post COVID-19 funding to create jobs and put money into the pockets of local tradespeople and businesses, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta have announced. “A total ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Health volunteers recognised in annual awards
    Health Minister Chris Hipkins has announced 9 teams and 14 individuals are the recipients of this year’s Minister of Health Volunteer Awards.  “The health volunteer awards celebrate and recognise the thousands of dedicated health sector volunteers who give many hours of their time to help other New Zealanders,” Mr Hipkins ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community COVID-19 Fund supports Pacific recovery
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says a total of 264 groups and individuals have successfully applied for the Pacific Aotearoa Community COVID-19 Recovery Fund, that will support Pacific communities drive their own COVID-19 recovery strategies, initiatives, and actions. “I am keen to see this Fund support Pacific ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Community benefits from Māori apprenticeships
    Up to 50 Māori apprentices in Wellington will receive paid training to build houses for their local communities, thanks to a $2.75 million investment from the Māori Trades and Training Fund, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Ngāti Toa Rangatira Incorporated to provide its Ngā Kaimahi ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Training fund supports Māori jobseekers
    Rapidly growing sectors will benefit from a $990,000 Māori Trades and Training Fund investment which will see Wellington jobseekers supported into work, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “This funding will enable Sapphire Consultants Ltd. to help up to 45 Māori jobseekers into paid training initiatives over two years through ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruakura Inland Port development vital infrastructure for Waikato
    The Government is investing $40 million to develop an inland port at Ruakura which will become a freight super-hub and a future business, research and residential development for the Waikato, Urban Development and Transport Minister Phil Twyford, and Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta announced today. The funding has been has ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Appointments made to Defence Expert Review Group
    Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today the establishment of an Expert Review Group to review a number of aspects of the New Zealand Defence Force’s (NZDF) structure, information management and record-keeping processes.  The Expert Review Group’s work arises out of the first recommendation from the Report of the Government’s Inquiry ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • No active community cases of COVID-19
    There are no active community cases of COVID-19 remaining in the country after the last people from the recent outbreak have recovered from the virus, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “This is a big milestone. New Zealanders have once again through their collective actions squashed the virus. The systems ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Clean energy upgrade for more public buildings
    More public buildings will be supported by the Government to upgrade to run on clean energy, the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw announced today. Minister Shaw announced that Lincoln and Auckland universities will receive support through the Clean-Powered Public Service Fund to replace fossil fuel boilers. Southern, Taranaki, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Schools back donations scheme for the second year
    More schools have opted in to the donations scheme for 2021, compared to 2020 when the scheme was introduced. “The families of more than 447,000 students will be better off next year, with 94% of eligible schools and kura opting into the scheme,” Education Minister Chris Hipkins said. “This is ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Ruapehu cycle trails gets PGF boost
    The spectacular Mountains to Sea cycle trail in Ruapehu District will receive $4.6 million in funding from the Provincial Growth Fund for two additional trails, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. “This is an exciting development for the local community, and one that will provide significant economic opportunities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago
  • Update to air border order strengthens crew requirements
    Additional measures coming into effect on Monday will boost our defence against COVID-19 entering New Zealand through the air border, Health Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “As part of our precautionary approach and strategy of constant review, we’re tightening the requirements around international aircrew,” Chris Hipkins said. The COVID-19 Public ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • A true picture of Māori business activity
    A better picture of the contribution Māori businesses make to the economy will be possible with changes to the way information is collected about companies and trading enterprises. Māori Development Minister Nanaia Mahuta and Small Business Minister Stuart Nash have announced a new option for Māori enterprises who are part ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF funding for Taranaki projects
    The South Taranaki museum, a New Plymouth distillery and a Pasifika building firm will benefit from a Government investment totalling more than $1 million, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says. The $1.05m in grants and loans from the Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) will help the recipients expand and create ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Fijian Language Week 2020 inspires courage and strength during COVID-19 pandemic
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples, Aupito William Sio says the theme for the 2020 Fijian Language Week reflects the strong belief by Fijians that their language and culture inspires courage and strength that is strongly needed in times of emergencies, or through a significant challenge like the global COVID-19 pandemic ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Trades training builds on iwi aspirations
    An investment of $2.025 million from the Māori Trades and Training Fund will support Māori to learn new skills while making a positive difference for their communities, announced Employment Minister Willie Jackson today. “K3 Development Limited Partnership will receive $2,025,000 for its Takitimu Tuanui apprenticeship programme, which will support the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Conservation Minister plants two millionth tree in Raglan restoration
    A long-term conservation project led by the Whaingaroa Harbour Care group in the western Waikato reaches a significant milestone this week, with the planting of the two millionth tree by the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage. “Planting the two millionth tree crowns 25 years of commitment and partnership involving Whaingaroa ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Seniors – our parents and grandparents
    International Older Persons Day is a chance to think about the individual older New Zealanders we know and to confront ageism, Seniors Minister Tracey Martin said today. “What happened around COVID-19 is a reminder that our over-65s are a very large and diverse group of people and we need to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • Residential building sector growing stronger
    Figures released by Statistics New Zealand today show healthy growth in residential building consents in an environment of Government support for the sector during COVID-19, says Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods. Statistics New Zealand reported today that a record 10,063 townhouses, flats, and units were consented in the August 2020 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago
  • PGF helps Bay of Plenty youth find jobs
    Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) support for a pathways to work hub in Tauranga will help address high youth unemployment in the Bay of Plenty by connecting young people with training and meaningful employment opportunities, Parliamentary Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau has announced. “Priority One Western Bay of Plenty ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 weeks ago