Last week's labour market data showed the Māori unemployment rate at the lowest it has been since modern records began in 1986.
That's got to be a good thing.
Economic commentators - myself included - can sound a bit clinical when we talk about the risk a tight labour market poses to the economy.
It does pose a risk. We do need to find workers to allow businesses to grow.
But must we kill off the strong jobs market? Should we cheer on rising unemployment in the fight against inflation?
Surely that is the nuclear option. We should only push that button if it's clear all else has failed.
Who do we expect to pay the price when we talk about "slack" in the jobs market?
In 1992, a combination of austere monetary and fiscal policy pushed the overall unemployment rate to 12 per cent.
For Māori, the unemployment rate peaked at 25.6 per cent that year - now it is 5.4 per cent.
Last week, I previewed the Labour Market Data with the headline: Why we won't be cheering record low unemployment.
The story reflected a view among economists that falling unemployment at this point would cause more problems for the Reserve Bank in its inflation fight.
In the end, unemployment actually ticked-up, but strong wage growth prompted most economists to run with a similar theme.
A keen reader (Gavin) called me out on this.
Are we really so up against it in the inflation fight that we can't allow workers some catch-up on wage growth?
Here's what Gavin reckoned:
"A brief period in which the Labour market swings in favour of the workforce does present inflationary challenges but also opportunities to lift household earnings out of low wages and provide a fair share to those at the disadvantaged end of the GINI Coefficient ... and not before time in New Zealand."
Hmm ... The Gini Coefficient, for the record, is a measure of economic inequality in society - developed by a bloke called Corrado Gini.
It's a controversial measure because, obviously, absolute equality is no fun if we're all poor.
The poorest Americans are probably better off than most citizens of the Ivory Coast - which has a similar Gini Coefficient.
But rapidly widening gaps in economic equality aren't great news for social cohesion.
And they aren't fair.
Unsurprisingly (according to MSD research), New Zealand's Gini Coefficient blew out through the late-1980s and 1990s.
Consider again that rate of unemployment for Māori at 25.6 per cent in 1992.
In fact, look at it across the three decades from 1986 to 2016 - almost constantly in double digits (aside from a short dip pre-GFC).
We have paid - and are still paying - an immeasurable social and economic cost for letting unemployment become so deeply embedded in one sector of our population.
You'd think we'd be shouting that record low of 5.4 per cent from the rooftops.
My sense is that even Stats NZ is nervous to make too much of it just yet. It's just a start.
Cynics are going to be quick to point out all sorts of current social ills, student absence, gangs and crime plaguing the Māori statistics.
Yes, benefit numbers do suggest that some shifting of some long-term unemployed into the sickness and disability category.
But concerns about a post-Covid divergence between Jobseeker (work ready) numbers and official unemployment numbers look increasingly irrelevant now the gap has closed - the numbers sit at 100,080 and 96,000 respectively.
You can argue all sorts of exceptions but the trend is clear.
The people at the bottom end of the economic spectrum are not being made redundant and there is work available for those of them who have the capacity and desire to do it.
Those tough social issues we still face are the result of all that unemployment and social dislocation for all those years.
Record low unemployment is where the healing starts.
So forgive me if I'm not particularly sympathetic to the idea we must engineer a recession to curtail jobs growth and cheer for unemployment so we can keep wage rises to a minimum.
The good news is that the big global supply-side forces behind inflation are starting to ease.
Oil, food commodities (like dairy and wheat) shipping costs - all these things have been falling steadily for the past few weeks.
One of the big drivers of costs in New Zealand has been building supplies.
Prices for the construction of new dwellings increased by 18 per cent in the June 2022 quarter, compared to the same period last year.
They will soon start to ease, if they haven't already.
They won't ease because the Government and Commerce Commission have solved competition issues.
That's a fine endeavour but it comes too late for this economic cycle.
They will ease because raw material and shipping costs are declining, because
local firms have adapted - shoring up new suppliers and building up inventory to meet shortfalls - and because the rate of new building is declining from a historic peak.
One place inflation pressure is unlikely to ease quickly is labour costs. It's always the lagging indicator in an economic cycle.
I think we do need sharper government policy to ensure we get skilled workers into the country.
But we do have some policy discretion around how aggressively we deal with domestic inflation.
We can afford to deal with it at a measured pace and with some compassion.
In fact, I don't think we can afford not to.