Council of Trade Unions president Helen Kelly notes the relationship to New Zealand's "flexible" labour laws and is summarised as pointing out that:
... there's a growing recognition of the long-term erosion in "human capital" rapid rises in unemployment can bring.
Younger generations are shut out of work for longer, careers are interrupted, ethnic minorities are hit hard, and, it is increasingly often being argued, there seems to be a direct link between innovation and tougher labour market regulation.
Of course, the 'he said, she said' style of reporting aways requires comment from a dinosaur neoliberal:
Roger Kerr of the Business Roundtable said there was no reason why the country could not function on near full employment, but it should be achieved by "reforming" the welfare system to make it even less attractive not to work, while at the same time lowering the minimum wage and bringing back permanent "youth rates".
Yes, because forcing people to work at below subsistence levels is proven to produce a happy, well-functioning society.
The last paragaph of the article is fankly bizarre:
Although many lost jobs in the Great Recession, not all Kiwi workers lost out. In contributing to an International Monetary Fund review of employment experiences during the crisis, data and opinion supplied by New Zealand officials show a belief employers got rid of less productive workers, the result being that the country's productivity figures could well tick up.
It's well-known that the increase in average productivity tends to slow down during times of full employment because those with the least skills are getting jobs (normally seen as a good thing). The same people tend to be the first to lose jobs when a downturn arrives, so productivity (essentially, just average production per worker) does indeed "tick up". But how this statistical artefact is an objectively good thing, let alone proves that "not all Kiwi workers lost out" is beyond me.