As economists are describing the fall in employment of 29,000 as “very grim” and “an absolute shocker”, Ruth Dyson plays Chicken Little and says there is nothing to worry about.
The Herald quotes her as saying:
“Compared to 12 months ago, the employment levels are 0.2 percent below that level. So this is not a dramatic change if you look at the overall picture ,” she said.
“I don’t think that this is bad news at all actually, the fact we’ve got 350,000 more jobs than we had when we were elected (1999) to lead the Government should be very good news for New Zealand.”
This is why Governments get thrown out as they stay in office too long. No Minister should ever say that losing 29,000 jobs is not bad news. It is arrogant, uncaring and out of touch.
The comparison to a year ago is somewhat misleading. The fact is the drop of 29,000 in a quarter is the biggest drop since 1989. It has wiped out all the growth from the previous three quarters, and more. It is a 1.3% drop in just one quarter.
Normally over a year one has employment growth of close to 2%, so a 0.2% decline over the year is significant.
Dyson should have talked about the challenges of global turbulence etc, rather than pretended there was no problem at all and that 29,000 less jobs is “not bad news at all actually”.Tags: HLFS, Ruth Dyson, unemployment