Mitchell says governments were remarkably successful at providing jobs to people who needed them and there’s nothing stopping them from doing so again. The key to doing it then, and in the future, he says, is having a public sector “buffer stock” of jobs. “In Australia – and I’m pretty sure the same sort of structure operated in New Zealand – you could always get a job in some public sector area,” he says. He’s not wrong. In 1952 in New Zealand, there were just two people receiving the unemployment benefit and 50 registered as unemployed.