The Government is sending a chilling wind into the jobs market by stoking wage expectations and increasing the power of the unions, National’s Workplace Relations and Safety spokesperson Scott Simpson says.
“Just today we’ve seen slowing data in the ANZ Job Ads series – growth has halved to 5 per cent, year on year, from peaks in recent years of well over 10 per cent. ANZ says there’s a risk of further weakness and if that happens, ‘strength in the labour market could start to ebb.’
“Monthly figures tend to be too volatile to be read in isolation but they follow ANZ’s business confidence survey, which slumped to a 10-year low and saw employment intentions turn negative. Job creation has plummeted by 60 per cent under this Government compared to more than 10,000 new jobs a month under National.
“New Zealanders are right to be concerned that there’s worse to come because the Government is implementing union-friendly, 1970s-style wage bargaining rules that make our businesses less competitive, reduce flexibility and will ultimately hurt workers.
“Employers are also deeply concerned about the flow-on effects of state-sector wage negotiations, especially now that police officers have joined teachers and nurses in rejecting wage increases offered by the Government, sensing they can get more.
“The cumulative impact of this Government’s planned changes to workplace relations risks stalling the economy, further hurting business confidence, and reducing job creation opportunities for vulnerable employees.
“National believes a good industrial relations framework and a flexible labour market are critical to a strong and growing economy.
“This Government has a lot to learn about the law of unintended consequences or worse, is indifferent to the impact of their naïve policies. In the real world, they’re hurting both businesses and ordinary New Zealanders.”