Willie Jackson and Heather du Plessis-Allan debate unemployment figures

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 5 Aug 2020, 6:03PM
Employment Minister Willie Jackson. (Photo / NZ Herald)

Willie Jackson and Heather du Plessis-Allan debate unemployment figures

Author
Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Wed, 5 Aug 2020, 6:03PM

The Employment Minister says figures showing unemployment at four percent don’t take into account everyone who’s out of work.

Stats NZ figures show unemployment levels are four per cent for the June quarter.

It fell from 4.2 percent in the March quarter.

It's the first quarter to include the Covid-19 lockdown, with Treasury earlier forecasting it to be 8.3 per cent

Willie Jackson says to meet the definition, you have to not have a job, be available to start work - and actively seeking it.

He told Heather Du Plessis-Allan over six weeks during lockdown, thousands weren’t able to seek work - and factoring them into unemployment rates would push it close to five percent.

"Let's say it was 4,8 per cent, that's still not a bad result for a Government in a crisis situation when we had Treasury forecasting unemployment was going to hit 8.3 per cent in June." 

However, Jackson rejected claims by economists that these results are rogue. He says that this shows that what the Government has done is paying off. 

Finance Minister Grant Robertson says the full impact of Covid-19 will be seen next quarter.

Jackson says a lot of interventions are underway to help the economy and everyday Kiwis.

"$380 million boost today in terms of apprenticeship. $1 billion investment in terms of creating green jobs. $2.6 billion in terms of infrastructure. There's so much there at the moment." 

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