Friday, November 12, 2021

Lindsay Mitchell: Only 8,800 Kiwis unemployed for a year or more

The NZ Initiative this week released a paper arguing against introducing unemployment insurance. One reason advanced is that relative to other countries  NZ doesn't have a problem with long-term unemployment:

"Perhaps more importantly, long-term unemployment, that is, people who have been unemployed for 12 months or more, is also relatively low in New Zealand ... In 2020, long-term unemployed was only 8.9% of total unemployed in New Zealand."

Is that a surprise to you?

Their statistic comes from the OECD which in turn derives its data from the NZ Household Labour Force Survey (HLFS).

According to the latest September HLFS quarter supplementary tables (Table 4) only 8,800 individuals had been unemployed for over a year.

I summed the final row which shows a total lower than the reported 98,000 unemployed. The explanation is, "These categories will not sum to total unemployed due to the exclusion of unemployment durations not specific enough to fit into one of the stated categories." I take that to mean if  the respondent had been unemployed for 4.5 weeks for instance they couldn't be categorised. But 'over 1 year' is very specific so we can stick with 8,800.

Yet according to MSD Sept quarter benefit  data tables, of 193,635 Job Seeker recipients 121,110 had been dependent for more than a year. 

Yes it is possble to be getting Job Seeker and working part-time. The following table is unfortunately a little dated but at the end of 2019 only 6.8 percent of Job Seekers were working part-time:

That leaves 93.2 percent not working.

The Job Seeker benefit is obviously ill-named as so many of its recipients are not actually seeking jobs. 98,000 officially unemployed versus over 193,000 Job Seeker beneficiaries (I also  blogged earlier that many have no work obligations because they are too ill to work and would have previously been on the old Sickness Benefit).

But this latest anomaly regarding duration of unemployment is both baffling and absurd.

Furthermore the mismatch between Statistics NZ and MSD data is getting worse.

Lindsay Mitchell is a welfare commentator who blogs HERE.


DeeM said...

"There are lies, damned lies...and statistics" - Mark Twain...or Benjamin Disraeli...or someone who was an expert in manipulating data to show whatever you wanted!

Terry M said...

I certainly would not believe any figures produced by any government department which comes under the control of this labour cult.
Transparent. Only in as much as you can see right through their dodgy dealings.
Even the Auditor General does not accept their figures.

Phil said...

The media of course shower the Government with praise about 3.8% unemployment and ignore the 45,000 increase in jobseeker numbers.

RRB said...

This is where academics and other govt paid theorists get it all wrong as they probably haven't been exposed to the world where people work for a living.
First rule of credibility is never believe data from Government until you have checked the figures yourself.
You didn't give the numbers of people who receive benefits who also have cash paying jobs.
You haven't shown the number of people who have had their jobs taken by new immigrants.
You haven't shown data of beneficiaries who also live on the proceeds of crime.
As Joe Biden has just found; if you pay people not to work and stay at home, (just as they do in NZ) then many find they prefer that lifestyle choice.
The Labor party loves having people who are reliant on the taxpayer to fund their lifestyle.
Able bodied people should have to turn up at the dole office 8.00am to 4-30pm every day and have the option to refuse the first three jobs offered or lose their benefit.
Suddenly the government won't require immigrants to fill jobs some locals don't want to do.
Then everyone benefits!