The unemployment rate has fallen to 6%, that is something to celebrate. It really is great news for all those Kiwi workers who have gotten back into a job, their families, and their communities.
Manufacturing has led the way, another positive.
But it’s not time to be calling victory. A 1.1% reduction in unemployment only reverses the damage accumulated over the previous six months but it is still higher than it was in June last year when the recession ended.
When National came to power, unemployment had been below 4% for four years and had been lower than Australian unemployment for a decade. Unemployment has been higher than in Aussie since mid-last year and remains higher despite this good news.
6% is an appallingly high rate of unemployment. It is not natural or normal – it only became normal under National in the 1990s and in the last year of the current government.
It is worth noting that it is the seasonal adjustment that made for the big drop – the actual number of jobs fell in the March quarter, just not as much as usual following the seasonal increase in the December quarter.
There are still over quarter of a million jobless Kiwis – people who want to work for whom there are no jobs – 84,000 more jobless than when Labour left office.