Youth unemployment is 19.8%, but is there much coverage of a shockingly high number? That’s 1 in 5 young people Not in Employment, Education or Training (NEETs to the initiated); higher than the OECD average.
If you’re not listening to Radio NZ, you’re not to find out about it.
Clare Curran correctly points out that unemployment seems to have fallen off the media radar. We have a new norm that means between 6 and 7% of the workforce is unemployed, double the previous government’s trend, and that seems to have been accepted. 75,000 people added to this government’s scrap heap? Fine if it’s no one you know. Best we up the bene-bashing, that’ll solve the problem. With John Key relentlessly focussed on Hawaii, not Jobs, it seems about this government’s only solution. Unless that cycleway comes through real soon.
Social Development Minister, Paula Bennett, used to give us the monthly unemployment updates those months they went in the right direction (either seasonally adjusted, or raw figures, whichever worked…) – so the fact that she hasn’t could mean 2 things: all those weeks on her US ‘sabbatical’ kept her too busy, or the numbers are bad. It shows how focussed on getting Kiwis jobs this government is, that the Social Development Minister could afford several weeks out of the country on a jolly. We know she made it back for Christmas, as what this government is relentlessly focussed on is PR, so we all got to hear how she wanted SBW as her man-slave… Get that image out of your head.
Bennett is also Minister for Youth Affairs. She has trumpeted Job Ops and Community Max for making ‘a real difference to youth’ – getting them training at McDonald’s flipping burgers. But it turns out those burger jobs just weren’t there when the country headed into double-dip recession…