Does she stand by her statement “there are jobs out there”, given statistics released this week show there are 47,000 fewer jobs than three years ago?
Absolutely, particularly in light of statistics released a few weeks ago that show that more people are employed than ever before.
In light of that answer, is it now the Government’s position to rely on the household labour force survey as the measure of unemployment and employment, in light of the Prime Minister recently dismissing the household labour force survey as being “notoriously volatile” and just a survey?
There are a number of reports on employment and unemployment that come out during the year. I know that the members on the other side pick which sort of report they want to use at different times, and that those choices are actually of some concern. But, as I am saying, there is a measure here that says we have more people employed than ever before. I know we do not want to see that as being a good story, but actually it is.
Was she aware, when the Prime Minister said yesterday that employment is at the highest level ever, that in fact the increase was a mere 5,000 people over 3 years, while the working-age population actually grew by 103,200 people?
Yes, and I think in the light of our having one of the worst global recessions that this world has seen in a long time that it is actually quite remarkable that we have seen that level of growth in employment.
Where are the additional 98,000 working-age people who have been added to the household labour force survey figures over the past 3 years, and do they account for some of the 45,000 extra unemployed people under her stewardship?
Did the beginning of that question ask where they are? Can I just check that, Mr Speaker?
They are in work, because they are counted as being in employment, or they are in training, which is a reality as well. Just by the sheer measure of the household labour force survey and the numbers that are coming into the country, that is how it is made up.
Were the 170,000 new jobs National promised in its May Budget predicated on 4 percent growth by 2013; if not, what was the promise of 170,000 new jobs based on?
That was a Treasury prediction, and as the Minister who spoke before me just said, it is one that we feel can be reached. We can see no reason to question it.
In light of that answer, if 4 percent growth helps to create 170,000 new jobs, as set out in the May Budget, how many jobs is the Government now expecting to be created, given that the Minister of Finance said yesterday that he expected growth forecasts to come back over the next 2 or 3 years?
Those sorts of predictions are for Treasury. I suggest to the member that she may want to put her questions to the Minister in charge of Treasury.
In light of the Department of Labour report that revealed that the abolition of the youth minimum wage pushed up to 9,000 young people out of work, does the Minister think the report was wrong, or does she concede that abolishing the youth rates was a mistake that should be fixed immediately?
I think there are a number of reasons why young people are out of work disproportionately at the moment. Some of the main ones are the recession and the effects of that, and their having fewer skills and experience to take into the workforce. I know that the member certainly cites reports that say the abolition of the youth minimum wage is one of the reasons, but I think there are also others that need to be taken into consideration.
Further to that answer, can the Minister advise whether she has received any reports on policies promoted by the ACT Party for young people that, rather than saying “Let them eat cake.”, say “Let them smoke dope.”?
Only a couple of days back I did not allow a similar type of question asking about reports on Labour Party policies.