04 August 2009

Action at last.

From a social-policy point of view the obvious problem arising from a recession is rising unemployment. According to Stats NZ figures, unemployment began to rise sharply, from a relatively low level in late 2007 to about 5% in the March 2009 quarter. As I write, there is no sign that this trend is reversing, and the next quarterly figure will presumably be higher than that.
What are some of the negative social consequences of unemployment?
And what is the government doing about it? As if to prove me wrong (see previous post), the government has recently outlined a package of special measures to address the present economic crisis - Youth Opportunities. The target appears to be young people, especially those aged 16 to 24. A number of subsidised employment and training schemes are outlined on the Beehive website. These tend to be of limited tenure (6 months for the main two employment schemes, down to summertime scholarships for 1600 tertiary students) and, of course, limited numbers. The government predicts that there will be 16,900 new opportunities as a result of this package.
Compare this with over 100,000 unemployed, and growing. Some of those unemployed have been laid off from the public sector as a result of the government's line-by-line budget review. Presumably at least some of those savings have now been reallocated into the scheme that has just been announced.


At 12:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Grant - in one of the questions for the exam - what are the likely social effects of the 2008-2009, you ask us the what the effects are but in one of your articles i see the same question but added is and what is the government going to do about it, I am assuming the way the question is asked you just want us to tell you what the social effects are - but not what the govt is going to do as well?


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