Labour's youth spokeswoman Jacinda Ardern says the argument a youth rate is needed ridiculous.First: youth unemployment has not been this high at any point since Stats NZ started the HLFS: 1986. Not once.
"Last time youth unemployment was this high was in the 1990s, we had a youth wage rate then," he told Newstalk ZB. "It didn't make a difference and it is a cop out."
Ms Adern says it doesn't do anything to help create jobs.
But let's be generous and reckon she just meant the last time the youth unemployment rate was seriously high.
The maximum youth unemployment anywhere in the data series is 24.5% - June 1993. How high was adult unemployment at the time? 8.7%. Today, we have youth unemployment of 27.6% to an adult unemployment rate of 5.0%. Today's adult unemployment rate is 57% of the adult unemployment rate in June 1993. But youth unemployment is 113% of what it was then.
Or, look at it another way. The highest adult unemployment rate since 1986 was 10.2% in March 1992. What was the youth unemployment rate then? 23.4%. When the adult unemployment rate was freaking double what it is today, the youth unemployment rate was lower than it is now.