Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A jobless "recovery"

The annual Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update has been released, and the business pages are full of talk of an "economic xmas present" and a "roaring economy" (to which we can probably add Brian Gaynor's weekend column promising that next year would be "an economic cracker"). But amid all the starry-eyed praise of high projected economic growth, something important is being ignored: jobs.

The HYEFU projects annual average unemployment to remain over 5% until 2018. In other words, they're projecting a jobless recovery, with all that implies for wage rates. So who will be getting the benefit of that massive projected growth? Not ordinary kiwis, who will be left insecure and with depressed wages for the forseeable future. Instead, that growth is going to go to the same people it always does under National: the 1% who fund them and dictate their policies. They will get richer, and we will continue to suffer.

No wonder the business pages are cheering.