CTU Economic Bulletin

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  • August 2010

    With unions under attack with threats to shackle their access to worksites, it is timely to look at the results of the valuable annual survey of bargaining trends reported by the Industrial Relations Centre (IRC) at Victoria University of Wellington.

  • July 2010

    The Prime Minister made a number of claims when he announced the extension of the 90-day trial provisions to all employees. At time of the announcement, the government made a deliberately delayed release of a Department of Labour research report, apparently to support the law change. The research was unbalanced, surveying only 13 employees, but it does not provide evidence for his claims. Instead it provides cause for concern. If you want to read the full report, details are below, but here are highlights. A longer analysis is available on request.

  • June 2010

    Paul Krugman, a heavyweight among world economists, wrote on 27 June:

    We are now, I fear, in the early stages of a third depression. It will probably look more like the Long Depression [of the 19th century] than the much more severe Great Depression [of the 1920s and 30s]. But the cost – to the world economy and, above all, to the millions of lives blighted by the absence of jobs – will nonetheless be immense.

    To all appearances here in Australasia we are on the way up. New Zealand is slowly climbing out of a deep hole, unemployment has peaked, manufacturing is starting to find its feet again, exports are increasing and the economy growing. But sustained recovery is very dependent on seeing no more surprises from the world economy. So why is Krugman so pessimistic?

  • May 2010

    Reflecting on the Budget

    Some ideas grow on you. The more you think about them the smarter they appear. The 2010 Budget was the opposite. It dies on me. The more I look, the more worried I get. Not only is it likely to worsen inequalities but it does so little for economic growth that we're unlikely ever to notice. Short of improvements in the economy beyond the government's control, such as a greater than expected improvement in world economic conditions or continuing improvements in produce prices, the living standards of the majority of working people will fall behind in the coming year, measured either in real disposable incomes or in prospects.