The December quarter employment statistics are out. And there’s a big jump up to 6.8% unemployment. 11,000 people lost their jobs, 8,000 became “unemployed” and 3,000 others left the workforce altogether. The labour force participation rate (the number of people of working age, working) is down to 67.9%.
If we look further into the stats we see long-term unemployment rising, with a particular bubble who have been unemployed between 1 and 2 years – since the recession lay-offs began. The number unemployed that long has nearly doubled in the last year. That’s a lot of people who’ve been consigned to the scrap-heap that National haven’t done anything to help.
National, without an economic plan, aren’t creating jobs. Unemployment has dropped a mere 0.2% in the last year. There is no aggressive recovery from recession for Aotearoa. The US, Australia, China are all back in gear and growing – we will probably find that we slipped back into recession last quarter.
Bill English called unemployment under 6% a hoax in 1999, but Labour got it down to 3.5%, and kept it consistently below Australia. When the rate first started rising under National they crowed that we were still doing better than Oz… But now their unemployment rate is 5.1%, 1.7% below ours.
National’s plan to cut the muscle and more jobs in the public sector will only make things worse – more people unemployed, fewer people with money to spend and keep the private sector going. Selling assets, whilst trader John Key’s specialty, will not improve the economy or unemployment either. Their only ideas seem set to add to the 158,000 families stuck without a bread-winner.