The government's response to this morning's shock unemployment news? Outright denial:
Key said the data was ''unusual''.
"In the end these things bounce around quite a bit... it's at odds with what most of the economists thought would happen."
Asked whether the data was wrong, he said only it was at odds with other information around.
"Like a lot of surveys, from time to time, it can produced usual data, let's see what happens in the next one. But it's not going to make the Government change tack."
This is the political equivalent of sticking your fingers in your ears and saying "la la la not listening". Which is simply not an acceptable response to a social problem for which the government has responsibility affecting hundreds of thousands of people. But if the government accepted it was real, then they might have to do something about it - and that is the last thing National is interested in doing.