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Paula’s forever blowing bubbles

Written By: - Date published: 11:16 pm, September 6th, 2010 - 13 comments
Categories: benefits, jobs, spin, unemployment - Tags: ,

It’s been nearly two years now of Paula Bennett declaring that the unemployment crisis is over. Yesterday, she put out a press release titled ‘More than 6,000 beneficiaries find jobs in August‘. Wow, 6,000 in a month, pretty good. But Bennett must have been hoping we wouldn’t read beyond the title. The fact is that 900 more people went on the dole than came off it. The total number of beneficiaries just keeps climbing.

Bennett, of course, has excuses. The climb in dole numbers, she claims is just seasonal.

I’m afraid it’s not. Over the previous ten years (including the disastrous 2009 Bennett oversaw), the number of the people on the dole fell an average of 0.7% from July to August. This year it rose 1.3%.

Here’s the pattern of dole numbers  for 2009, 2010, and 2000-08 average using the previous December of each year as the base.

As you can see, there’s a seasonal variation alright but, while it’s not as bad as the skyrocketing numbers last year, things are not following the downward pattern they did under Labour, which they will need to do if the situation is to get better.

To look at how things are going this year compared to the ‘normal’ seasonal variance, I took out the overall downward trend from the 2000-09 average.

You can see that the dole numbers aren’t even tracking the normal seasonal variance that results in dole numbers being the same at the end of the year as the start. In every month this year the decrease has been less or the increase has been more than normal. If this keeps up for the rest of the year, we’ll end up with more people on the dole than at the start of the year.

Remember: the economy started growing again over a year ago.

The fact is this government has failed to protect Kiwi jobs. They’ll bail-out their rich mates with $1.7 billion of our money but they won’t a finger when our jobs are at risk.

I’m all for Paula Bennett announcing that the employment situation is improving. I just wish that, for once, when she says unemployment numbers are falling it would be true.

13 comments on “Paula’s forever blowing bubbles”

  1. M 1

    Where does this woman stand on Santa Claus?

    The unemployment numbers may again reach the dizzying heights they did in the early 90s but despite black and white evidence the economy will be “improving” according to National. The really tragic thing is that many of the people who are currently getting a good stomping will in all likelihood return this government for another term of pain until it finally sinks in that their often desperate situations are the least of the right’s concern.

    My guess is that in the absence of an opposition that holds National’s feet to the fire they will be returned next year and the 2012 budget will make Ruth Richardson’s MOAB look fairly benign.

    Asset sales, overcrowded housing, illiteracy,worsening health of the populace and perhaps a new meningitis epidemic anyone?

  2. toad 2

    Just wait for Bennett’s gloatfest when thousands of currently unemployed workers go off the dole because they get jobs rebuilding Christchurch. What’s the bet she attributes that to “sound Government policy”?

    • ZB 2.1

      The fundamentals suggest many who have lost their homes will use the opportunity to relook at their prospects.
      Skilled people are without work in Christchurch, skills in short supply.
      So if they have kids, no home, then the first thing they will do is call contacts in their industry and
      find an opening, in the north Island, or Australia.
      The sucking effect created by a government – both of the left and right because both breathed
      neo-liberal economics – will again push people over the border.
      National do not govern, they react and impose prescribed ideological edicts, if they were
      ever caught managing then their party intellectuals would froth at the mouth.
      A government which protected its economy would have a emergency employment
      policy, that stated roughly something like, all companies must carry employment
      cover, employment cover in emergencies should be the benefit level for all employees
      when they are unable to work on a working day. That would give employees income
      and certainty, and employers security of their business, wouldn’t it? People might not
      be so hasty to cheer tax cuts via benefit cuts when they work out their mortgage
      payments still have to be paid after an earthquake.

  3. prism 3

    National do not govern, they react and impose prescribed ideological edicts, if they were ever caught managing then their party intellectuals would froth at the mouth.

    Well put ZB it seems to summarise NACT’s approach for me.
    Good graphs Marty, easy to read too.

    • just saying 3.1

      Saw someone on another blog say National is ruling like an occupying force rather than a democratically elected government.

  4. Lanthanide 4

    Marty, if you were drawing those graphs in 5th form school cert science, you’d be losing 1 mark each for no title!

    • bbfloyd 4.1

      lanth… you lose a point for time wasting. your contributions are usually more relevant than this. having a bad day?

      • Lanthanide 4.1.1

        Um, is my post somehow using up some limited resource? It’s not like I waffled on.

        My comment does have a point – I found it difficult, at least more so than it needed to be, to work out what the bottom two graphs were talking about. I had to read the surrounding text (which I was doing anyway) to work it out, but if the title had been there it would help. Also if people are skimming back through older posts, or linking from another site, having titles on the graphs is helpful.

        If anything, you’ve made me waste time by having to point out what should be obvious. The school cert marking schedule was there for a reason, you know, not just because teachers liked making kids jump through pointless hoops.

        Also, having just been through a rather large earthquake and many aftershocks, condescendingly asking if I’m having a bad day is somewhat rude.

  5. marsman 5

    Bubbles Bennett.

  6. feelingdirty 6

    mister apple meet miss orange

    I suggest another housing bubble, import driven inflationary economic “expansion” supported by unsustainable private sector borrowing. Worked for Labour err perhaps Working for Labour is more apt

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