I would like to put forward an argument about why the Unemployment rate has surprised everyone by dipping slightly rather than exploding upwards.
Before I put it forward, let me acknowledge…
Yes, more people want more hours.
Yes, the wage subsidy scheme is masking the true economic damage
Yes women and the poor have been hit hardest by the current unemployment rates.
Yes I think it’s going to get much, much worse.
I think, and this is nothing more than a gut feeling based on the amazing solidarity built around Jacinda and talking to lots of small business owners, that while the big employers saw this as an opportunity to cash in on the wage subsidy while sacking workers, many, many, many, many other small business bosses, who employ the majority of Kiwis in this country, feel that same obligation that the solidarity of this unique event had generated and have done all they can to actually hold onto workers.
I think the large majority of Kiwis have been genuinely impacted by this pandemic and it has really touched them and that is one reason why they are currently looking to give Labour a majority in an MMP environment whereby that’s almost impossible to achieve.
I’m not saying this sense of solidarity will continue forever, but every Kiwi in every way, and that includes the bosses of small business, are all trying to do their best and have taken Jacinda’s kindness to heart.
Everyone has been touched by this event and it is reshaping the economy, politics AND the culture. Everyone felt vulnerable in lockdown, everyone feels like they’ve sacrificed and that solidarity is extending to every facet of our lives.
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