Wednesday, August 05, 2020

15,000 employed under Labour

The labour market statistics have been released, and they show that unemployment actually dropped last quarter. All told, there are 111,000 unemployed - 15,000 fewer than when the government took office.

But before anyone thinks that the pandemic hasn't put people out of work, remember that this is for the June quarter, and the wage subsidy schemes are still operating. Essentially, this is how things look before the wave hits. And even then, "underutilisation" - people working less than they want - is up, while the number of people in the work force has dropped, which goes against recent trends. And the next stats will probably be worse.

Its also worth looking at what Labour has done over the last three years, and the answer is "not much". For all their talk about jobs, the floor for unemployment with their policy settings seems to be 4% (seen in September 2018, June 2019, and June 2020) - just half a percent lower than it was under National, and significantly higher than it was under Clark. For all their rhetoric, they're a status quo government pursuing status quo policies, uninterested in delivering real change.