Wednesday, February 07, 2018

4,000 employed under Labour

The labour market statistics have been released, showing a decrease in unemployment in the new government's first quarter in office. Where National ended its term with 21,000 more unemployed than when it began, Labour has already decreased it by 4,000. That's luck rather than policy - Labour hasn't yet made any changes to employment law or to the Reserve Bank's economic settings - but it does establish a baseline from which their future performance can be judged.

A change in government will mean a change in attitude. National believed it was helpless in the face of market forces, so abandoned the unemployed to the market, while complaining about the cost of its own inaction. Labour sees unemployment as a moral failing of government, a failure to set economic policy to ensure that everyone who wants to work can (and get paid well for doing so). Which means that if we get a shock to the economy in their term, they will at least try and do something to help, rather than just shitting on people.