COMMENT:

We have another building block for the Government in terms of economic credibility - and a reminder that as each month goes by, if things roll on the way they appear to, they will be in very good form going into their first election as a grouping.

The unemployment rate is 3.9 per cent, down from 4.4 per cent - 4.4 is good by anyone's standards, 3.9 is world class. It's up there with America, and America is the envy of the world.

We shouldn't really be surprised, how many times now have we talked to industries who literally can't find people to do jobs? Sector after sector, transport, hospitality, aged care, horticulture, agriculture, construction, to name a few.

Advertisement

In fact it would be easier to list industries that don't have shortages, and that would be counted on the fingers of one hand.

But if you look to history, which tells us strong economies serve governments well, this Government now has within its timeframe of having been in power for a year, three very good indisputably successful numbers.

Growth in the second quarter of a full one per cent, a surplus of $5.5 billion - and now 3.9 percent unemployment, the lowest in a decade.

The employment rate, as in those who are in work, is at an all-time high, youth unemployment is down, and there are regions with big, big job growth. Taranaki is at seven per cent, Gisborne six and a half, Otago five and a half.

These are figures you simply can't argue with: this is a full steam ahead economy. You can argue it was inherited, but the important political point is despite the warnings, they haven't wrecked it, the demise has not happened, the brakes have not come on, all those confidence surveys increasingly look like people who wanted to see something that wasn't there.

That's not to say it isn't coming, most think the third quarter will be slower growth wise, we shall see when the figures are published. The surplus might have been a one-off, we shall see. The looming employment law changes might upend matters, we shall see.

But if you're being fair about events so far into the life of this coalition, you can't dismiss the level of economic fact that now sits with us, that it's not just good, but very, very good - good by anyone's standards.

Ultimately whether Clare Curran got sacked, or Iain Lees-Galloway is eventually dispensed with won't swing votes. Jobs, income, and economic wellbeing swings votes.

And on these numbers, if you're the Government that produced them, for now you would feel nothing but emboldened.