Statistics NZ has just released the Household Labour Force Survey for June 2010 and it’s grim reading, with an astonishing increase in the unemployment rate from 6.0% to 6.8%.
Maori unemployment is now up to 16.4%, Pacific unemployment is at 14.1% and there’s been a 70% increase in long-term unemployment to 37,600.
It’s clear from these figures that the economic recovery National promised isn’t a reality for most workers. We have a government that’s asleep at the wheel, unable to think of economic policies beyond just leaving it all to the market and hoping things work out for the best.
They have no interest in helping workers because that’s not who they serve. Everything National has done – from cutting the top tax rate to removing work rights to attacking beneficiaries – has been about making working Kiwis suffer in order to reward their rich mates.
The result has been 53,000 more New Zealanders unemployed since National became government. Meanwhile, those of us fortunate enough to still have jobs can look forward to stagnating wages as the twin pressures of high unemployment and fewer work rights put downward pressure on our pay packets and leave us even further behind Australia.
There comes a point when empty rhetoric and spin hits up against cold hard reality. With GST increases, rising interest rates and 5% inflation on the way John Key has a rough few months ahead of him – with or without an effective Labour opposition.