Today's "jobs summit" is not a crisis meeting; it is a pre-emptive response to the risk of unemployment. Participants need to remember that. Serious unemployment in New Zealand remains a prediction, not a fact, and the predictions vary. They do not warrant panic measures or proposals that would put the economy out of kilter for a long time after the world's financial system has been repaired.
That's a good point. The government's opponents have suggested that Key's men and women have been lax in their responses to date, but we reckon the balance is pretty good. And we reckon the leader writer nails it with these words:
Today's discussion needs to be mindful that the global crisis will change this economy like others. Those with high current account deficits, like ours, have already seen a drastic fall in their exchange rates. The financial system will probably settle at a better balance between creditor and debtor countries, leaving our dollar at current levels. That means labour and capital will be drawn away from domestic services and into exportable products, including tourism.
Suggestions at the jobs summit need to assist this change not ignore or, worse, try to resist it. The labour market is never static, some jobs should not be preserved.
The challenge today is to distinguish between the jobs that will not return and those that will be needed when financial transmission is restored, hungry markets recover and opportunities abound.
Let's all hope for positive outcomes today.