Please, let this be the peak

Written By: - Date published: 8:52 am, May 6th, 2010 - 60 comments
Categories: unemployment - Tags:

The March quarter unemployment rate is out today. It should be back down below 7% from the appalling 7.3% that National let it rise to. My hope is to see it fall to at most 6.8%, that’ll represent 10,000 Kiwis back into work.

But there’s some negative signs: low job ads, high benefit numbers, and Bill English’s comment yesterday (when he would already have had the figure): “it appears unemployment is approaching a peak. We are not quite sure whether it has reached it yet.”

It is a year since the recession ended. Australia’s unemployment has been going down for half a year. This do nothing government has sat by while tens of thousands of Kiwis have lost their jobs. It’s well past time things started to turn around. If there is not a serious reduction in unemployment, it will only add to the blame National must carry for allowing things to get this bad.

60 comments on “Please, let this be the peak”

  1. Lanthanide 1

    “It is a year since the recession ended.”

    Actually didn’t you point out that the first quarter that had growth was below the population increase? Just how recessions “technically” begin, they can also “technically” end.

  2. In Greece three bank workers were killed in a fire started by angry protesters.
    Hundreds of thousands of people are in the streets because of the austerity measures the international banks are forcing on the people.

    Roubini is saying that that is just the tip of the iceberg

    Italy, Spain, Ireland, the UK, California (Just fired tens of thousands of teachers overnight) Portugal are all collapsing as a result of the banksters machinations.

    China is on the verge of collapse.

    Get real guys, were lucky if we can grow our own food in the coming years.


    A higher GDP does not a recovery make. In this case it just means more bankster machinations.

    Captcha: analysiss. LOL

  3. ianmac 3

    It must be very strange that the riots in Athens seem to be so pointless. Who are the rioters trying to punish? The police who have had their pay cut hugely? The shopkeepers facing ruin? The beggars on the street? The bank workers killed in the bank Fire?
    The problems are for the entire population. Pity they couldn’t unite to cope with adversity.
    Sorry about being off track. šŸ™

  4. I agree.

    Also let me make clear that I do not condone violence.
    Iceland’s reaction to the bankters extortion attempt was much more effective.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      They’re still being extorted. The British and Netherlands are still demanding the money that they paid out and the bankers will get the interest that’s being negotiated. Iceland needs to default.

  5. Here is a link to the article about their vote

  6. longarm 6

    I guess you’ve been damned by stats on that one Marty. 6.% unemployment rate, guess the government aint so bad after all?

  7. Bright Red 7

    6.0%. That’s really good news.

    Doesn’t excuse how high it got to though.

  8. 6%.

    Massive drop.

    Care to comment, Marty?

    • gobsmacked 8.1

      A fall in unemployment is always good news.

      Except for right-wingers who want to keep wages down.

      • toad 8.1.1

        Yes, time for a re-think on the miserly 25 cent increase minimum wage workers got last month. While I don’t subscribe to the theory that increasing the minimum wage has a negative impact on employment figures, now that employment figures are improving significantly, the Government doesn’t have that excuse. Wonder what else they will come up with.

  9. It is good news.

    It is partly seasonal of course. No doubt the Government will take full credit for this but I challenge all wingnuts to point to one Government policy that has made a significant contribution to this.

    Unemployment is still way higher than it was under Labour.

    • longarm 9.1

      Actually seasonal trends in unemployment are for an increase at this time of year, due to the agricultural cycle.

      The reality is, its lies and damned lies. The stats are unreliable, and my point is, to try to raise the government on the petard of the unemployment rate is just ridiculous. Clearly the stats are unreliable to form any meaningful conclusion, apart from (hopefully) that the trend for higher unemployment has turned the corner.

      • Bright Red 9.1.1

        longarm is right, if you look at the unadjusted rate, it’s 6.6% compared to 6.8% the season before. And the total number of jobs acutally fell last quarter.

    • Lanthanide 9.2

      “Unemployment is still way higher than it was under Labour.”
      Yes, and the world economy is still in a much worse state than it was under Labour, too.

  10. longarm 10

    Because of the global financial crisis. Unemployment is higher is every single major economy in the world than it was 3 years ago. Only the willfully blind could ignore that, but then again, this is a sheltered workshop of the left …

  11. LeeFluff 11

    Let us just for a moment not try to make this something we are in any way unhappy about.
    More people in jobs is good news.
    Whomever wants to claim credit, let them try and say that they had any affect.
    Mostly – I hope this is a sustainable climb back out of the pan.
    Congrats and felicitations to the thousands of Kiwis who have managed to get back into work, and good luck to the rest of you.

  12. Maynard J 12

    I can see Key now, on the deck of the Treasury, with the Mission Accomplished banner behind him.

    • Andrew 12.1

      ha ha, now that is really funny! Even if I am a right-wing nut job šŸ™‚
      Comment of the month.

  13. Tigger 13

    I’m hiring at moment. Three years ago I had 23 applications for this position – perhaps 4 viable candidates. Last month I had 125 applications – at least forty or so top class candidates. Most of these, recent graduates, were desperate and almost despondent about the lack of opportunities out there. Many felt that things weren’t getting better, in fact they’re getting worse. I don’t think the storm is over. I suspect it’s just beginning. My issue is not blaming National for this, my issue is blaming them for not doing enough about this.

  14. toad 14

    I’m dreading the Bennett gloat-fest in response to a Nat patsy question in the House this afternoon.

    Unless, of course, they are running scared that it might be turned around to force her to answer more questions about Peter Saunders and Peter Saunders.

  15. The Baron 15

    Looks like the Government’s employment policies are working. Being able to keep unemployment to 7.2% in the worst downturn in decades is pretty impressive – having it bounce back to 6% so fast is even more so.

    Of course, the Red team here will find something wrong with this news. You all seem to care more about who is in the boss’ seat rather than actual outcomes for NZers.

    Cue the “I love labour/greens” retorts. Yawn.

    • gobsmacked 15.1


      As I asked up-thread: which policies?

      • Pat 15.1.1

        Spending on roading infrastructure.

        • gobsmacked

          So government intervention, investing in a stimulus package of public works … long live Keynes and social democracy! Milton Friedman RIP.

          I mean, that’s what you guys want to say, but can’t seem able to.

          • Pat

            Yes we need more government intervention to create even more jobs. Like a few well-sited mines. A couple of extra prisons. More front-line doctors and nurses. More police. That sort of thing.

          • The Baron

            I thought the criticism here was that the Nats didn’t invest enough in stimulus, and instead relabelled existing and committed spending?

            Can’t have your cake and eat it too, Gob.

            • gobsmacked

              Baron – “here”?

              I’m not the blog (whatever that is). I’m one person in the comments. Just like you. Feel free to critique my views. Don’t create men of straw.

              • The Baron

                My apologies if you weren’t one of those who argued that more stimulus was required, and therefore aren’t a hypocritical partisan hack. There are plenty of commenters on here who are though, so I stand beside my REAL man thank you.

                Regardless, you seem to be quite capable of your own hypocritical straw man creation with your original post. Who said everyone loves Friedman?

                What’s good for the goose is good for the gander, boyo.

              • gobsmacked

                Apology accepted.

                Milton Friedman is shorthand for laissez-faire free market economics. The Don Brash/ACT approach (again, shorthand).

                The government has (as Pat says) had a limited stimulus package. We can quibble about specific sums and projects, but essentially, that has contributed to the drop in unemployment. Good.

                If National do what many of their backers want, and go hard down the Brash/ACT route, unemployment will surely rise.

                It will be interesting to see how that debate plays out.

              • The Baron

                What the hell has Don Brash got to do with anything anymore?

                Christ, you’re chasing after your ideological cars again rather than focussing on the FACT that the National/Act govt seems to be doing just fine managing unemployment in very challenging circumstances – and against many commenters expectations.

                As for the rest of your retort, I couldn’t care less about your nightmare fantasy scenarios that you seem to so salivate over. Here’s a news flash – maybe the National Govt isn’t evil incarnate? Maybe you need to take the blinkers off and take your juvenile analysis a little deeper than Red = Good, Blue = BAD.

              • Pascal's bookie

                Si Baroni.

                We can’t explain how or why National should get any credit for this,

                but anyone who refuses to give National a blowjob in thanks for this

                is a partisan fuckwit.

                No matter if they explain why they are withholding judgement.


      • longarm 15.1.2

        Does it matter?

        Honestly, private enterprise create jobs, not the government. The government did not create unemployment, the global recession did. In the same way, the government wont turn unemployment around, the economy (and all the small businesses that make it up) will.

        Get off your backside and do something for yourself and stop waiting/complaining about the government to do it.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Honestly, private enterprise create jobs,

          Not any time in the last couple of thousand years.

          • The Baron

            SO who did then Draco?

            Wanna offer your alternative explanation to the FACT that there are now tens of thousands more people in work with unemployment at 6%?

            Did I miss something- some creation of some public enterprise/socialist wet dream that can otherwise explain it? Otherwise, looks like private enterprise is indeed creating the jobs required.

            Ideology over outcomes huh Draco. Caring soul, aren’t you.

            • Draco T Bastard

              The community by, get this, being willing to pay for the job to be done. If the community was still willing to pay for the work to be done, which they were, then there should not have been a loss of jobs.

              The recession was caused by “private enterprise” boosting speculative bubbles in non-existent “wealth”. When that house of cards fell down the economy stopped flowing due to the people in control of the worlds wealth holding on to it in fear of losing it.

              Get rid of the delusion of “private enterprise” and “profit”, let the control of the worlds wealth back into the hands of the community and there’ll no longer be speculative bubbles or recessions. Nor will the community continue on it’s present unsustainable path.

              • bahandhumbug

                Have you been lobotomised or do you rely on reading patterns in our poos to come up with your drivel ?

              • Jim Nald

                Cool Draco. Quite correct in the diagnosis
                Private enterprise and profiteering were both sodomising the wealth of the community, without their consent. You can call it raping. Poo patterns are now visible on the corporates who, however, continue to drivel about needing to be bailed out ….. oh, bailed out by who? By communities themselves.
                Your prescription of putting control back in the hands of the community will need to take into account the lessons of the past so that we don’t repeat the same disasters. Other than that, I reckon it is time for real change.

              • Draco T Bastard

                Have you been lobotomised or do you rely on reading patterns in our poos to come up with your drivel ?

                No. It’s just that, unlike the RWNJs (ie, all of National, ACT and the Dunne party), I’m not a psychopath.

              • bahandhumbug

                Yes quite right all of them are psychopaths just like all the parties of the left are hard core Marxists and dream of turning NZ into a communist state………..zzzzzzzzzzz snore.

                Are you out of nappies yet or is just that you’ve recently finished your first few years at University and believe you have the answers to all the worlds woes ?

      • Lanthanide 15.1.3

        The policy of not rocking the boat? Sometimes that is all that is needed.

      • The Baron 15.1.4

        What am I, an economist? How the hell should I know? All I know is that under their watch, they seem to have done a bang up job of either doing something, or not getting in the way of those that are doing something. Given that the results are pretty clear, why don’t you have a shot at explaining it?

        I am mainly comparing and contrasting to the constant dialogue on this site about how the nats don’t care/do nothing about unemployment. Given that that story is changed, I am waiting with bated breath for any corrections or changes in narrative from the likes of Marty.

        I think I may die of oxygen depravation before that happens though. Mainly because most of you are more interested in your favourite colour than in what’s good for NZ.

        • Maynard J

          “Mainly because most of you are more interested in your favourite colour than in what’s good for NZ.”

          You are railing against people who are saying that this is not good, or taking an ideoligical bent.

          Newsflash: no one is doing so. So get all highy, mighty and pissed, but you’re doing so against your own imagination and it’s somewhat funny to watch.

          When people were complaining, unemployment was getting to the highest level in a generation. Are you saying they should have been happy with that? That those out of a job should have been happy at the time? Or that they should have got a crystal ball and known this moment would come?

          Pull your head in.

          • The Baron

            When did I say that the unemployed should have been happy Maynard?

            Since you seem to be having trouble, shall I give it to you in bullet points to make it easier to understand:

            1. Many on this site criticised the govt for not doing enough and letting unemployment get too high

            2. Unemployment has now steeply dropped – YAY

            3. Doesn’t that then mean that the govt should get some credit for turning it around?

            4. I bet that many on the left don’t do 3. because they’re hypocritical partisan hacks who care more about their team than the outcome.

            Where do you diverge from that list?

            • Pascal's bookie

              1. True
              3. Not necessarily. They should get the credit they deserve, but you have to show why they deserve any. For all you know they have been a help, a hindrance, or a small help and could have done much better.
              4. To turn this around, you seem to want to give National the credit, and demand that others do so too, without being able to explain why. That is the very definition of party partisan.

              It’s amusing to say the least.

            • Maynard J

              “When did I say that the unemployed should have been happy Maynard?”

              “All I know is that under their watch, they seem to have done a bang up job of either doing something… ”

              A bang-up job. So those out of a job should have been happy with that bang-up job? Or, perhaps, would they have been valid in criticising a government which, compared to other governments, was taking relatively little action?

              1 – I agree with them, apart from the ‘letting it get too high’ as that’s a subjective measure. Prefer comparisons where possible.
              2 – Yay indeed. I wonder why? You do not. Thus we diverge.
              3 – Subjective. Could have been this low a year ago with some action. Alternately, could have been much worse if they’d actively pursued Mother Of All Budget type foolishness or some othe aciton. compare us to comparable economies and see if we…compare. Less flattering, our performance over the last year or two.
              4 – You’re cheerleading National beause you are blue, just as you deride those who don’t support them. Unlike you, those who aren’t cheerleaders are asking what National have done. You don’t know/don’t care, you just blithely assume that 6% is great and National must be doing a ‘bang-up job’. Couln’t ask for better, I guess?

  16. ianmac 16

    Great news! My two younger sons, graduates, are pretty sad that they couldn’t get a job. Hope that the jobs do go to younger people. šŸ™‚
    I do think that the long term Labour program left our country in a better position than they would have otherwise. Explains the do nothing Key Goverment. They just had to sit tight and gloat! Oh the irony. ;(

  17. gingercrush 17

    Oh what a typical reply from the left. Since the General Election where we happened to be in recession on top of a self-induced recession (we went into recession before the rest of the world) you lot have been declaring what a do-nothing useless government this is that is idly standing by and watching unemployment rise and rise and rise. And we had you useless wankers talking about how it would go above 8% etc etc. Oh you wanted to pin the unemployment rate on this National government forgetting that the previous Clark government left a legacy of falling growth rates etc etc (but you lot seem to ignore that shit as well). Just like you praise the Clark government for their amazing unemployment rate. Even though that unemployment rate began to go down when our dollar was just 40 cents against the American dollars. This saw exports temporarily do extremely well and that saw more money getting into the provinces and the cities (not that you lot thank the fucking Farmers etc that give this country growth) then we saw record increases in house prices. All helped unemployment fall. Not to mention the fucking National government of 1990-1991 that had to deal with two fucking recessions left in 1999 projections for fucking decent growth. (Something all you wankers seem to forget)

    If you are going to praise the Labour government for their amazing unemployment rate then do so. I even think its fair to do so. But you wankers need to do the same thing today. Because unlike the Labour government of 1999 that inherited a very low dollar, decent growth projections and surpluses. This National government had to deal with no surpluses, a highish dollar and growth projections that weren’t there, not to mention a self-induced fucking recession and a world recession.

    So shut the hell up lefties. You lost. No longer can you lot harp-on about how unemployment is rising and rising and what a do-nothing government this is etc etc etc. But no doubt you lot will come up with more grossly ignorant hypocritical lines that you can all circle-jerk around.(Many here are like Kiwiblog in that regard)

    • Maynard J 17.1

      What response, the post before the drop was announced, or the comments afterwards about how us lefties think it’s a good thing?

      Pull your head in, you sound a bit psycho.

      Should we have been happy when th e government was doing very little and th ee rate was very high? No. Being a fiucking leftie and a wanker, and caring about those who are unemployed, I thought the government should have taken action.

      • The Baron 17.1.1

        Looks like they’ve done something that worked then doesn’t it Maynard?

        Will you start the applause?

        • Maynard J

          No it doesn’t, it looks like it fixed itself šŸ˜‰

          Are you going to drop the cheerleading and make a real argument for the point?

          They are getting enough applause from you for the both of us and, I suggest, for everyone on this site. I like your puppy-like unconditional love though, it is touching as it is amusing.

  18. Roflcopter 18

    “All right … all right … but apart from better sanitation and medicine and education and irrigation and public health and roads and a freshwater system and baths and public order … what have the Romans ever done for us?”

  19. bahandhumbug 19

    So to summarise the position of this site the Nats are not responsible for the decrease in unemployment and are in fact to blame for employment not improving enough.

    Whereas Labour are to be congratulated for the employment figures during their term and are blameless for the increased unemployment towards the end of their term.

    Could I expect to see the opposite argument at Kiwiblog ?

    Is everyone at Kiwiblog and The Standard a pack of partisan hacks ?

    Does anyone really think that NZ governments have any significant effect on employment ?

    • Jared 19.1

      More to the point, they felt National should have extended its extortionate borrowing to create fictional jobs that didn’t address long term unemployment issues.

      • Draco T Bastard 19.1.1

        Actually, I’m quite happy that NACT didn’t extend the extortionate borrowing. But they still did everything they could to decrease wages as Jonkey said he wanted.

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