Growing in the all the wrong places isn’t difficult – that’s what happened from 2003 to 2009:
Finance Minister Bill English explains:
. . . non-tradable jobs grew strongly from 2003 to 2009 – up about 300,000 – as New Zealanders borrowed against the rising value of their homes to go on an unprecedented retail spendup. Many of these jobs turned out to be as unsustainable as the borrowing that fuelled them.
By contrast, during this period the tradables sector – the part of our economy that earns our living with the rest of the world – actually went into recession and shed about 55,000 jobs as it was smothered by poor government policy settings, rising interest rates and a rising dollar.
Economic recovery depends on more jobs from export industries.
I’m pleased to see that in the last five quarters, jobs in the tradables sector have increased by 25,000 – or about 6 per cent. That growth needs to pick up pace, but it is an encouraging start.