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Hard times & demographics

Written By: - Date published: 10:57 am, November 9th, 2012 - 13 comments
Categories: activism, housing, jobs, mana, unemployment - Tags: , ,

The crises in housing and unemployment are hitting some demographic groups harder than others.  There are worrying trends of increasing marginalisation and struggle for some demographic groups. Meanwhile other groups that were previously less vulnerable, are struggling.  There has been a significant worsening in employment for men, which probably is due to there being fewer secure, well-paid, full time jobs available.

At the same time, the struggle over affordable housing, and the dismantling of state housing, seems to be impacting most on the high proportion of women, Maori and Pasifika people that are on low incomes.

A closer look at the latest Household Labour Force Survey (pdf) shows some worrying underlying trends.  In recent quarters women have had a higher increase in their unemployment rate.  In the September Quarter, while there was a rise in unemployment for both men and women, the biggest rise in unemployment was amongst men, with self-employed men being particularly hard hit.

Most of this increase came from the number of unemployed men, which rose 10,000 (up 12.2 percent) to 91,000. The number of unemployed women rose 3,000 (up 3.6 percent) to 84,000.

According to statistics that are not seasonally adjusted, older people have also been hit hardest, with an increase in unemployment amongst those aged 50-54 (up 4,000) and 60-64 (up 3000). There are also worsening trends in employment for 45-49 year olds.

This does not mean good news for young people, just that their unemployment statistics have remained flat over the last quarter.  However, there has been a slight increase in the unemployment (or NEET*) rate amongst women (*Not in Employment Education or Training).

Auckland has been quite hard hit by the increase in unemployment, especially amongst men.  In contrast there was a decrease in unemployment and rise in employment in Canterbur.  This was partly due gender differences in choice of jobs. In Canterbury,

The total increase in employment reflected a statistically significant 9,000 rise in the professional scientific, technical services, administrative, and support services industry group. Most of this rise was from the professional, scientific, and technical services industries.

The number of men and women employed in Canterbury both increased. For women the rise in employment was mostly in the professional, scientific, technical services, administrative, and support services industry group. For men the rise in employment was in that industry group, but also in the construction industry.

In general, the wholesale industry lost 12,700 workers (male and female) over the year. Women’s employment increased significantly in the retail trade, and also in accomodation and food service indusutries.

Women tend to do more part time, casual and low paid work than men.  So a shift towards worsening employment statistics for men, probably is a result of a decrease in well-paid, full-time work. The labour force participation rate (that includes employed and unemployed people) rose, with most of this being due to more women looking for work. This is probably a reflection of the fact that more households are struggling to make ends meet.

Nowhere is this more evident than in the impact of the decrease in the amount of affordable housing.  Part of the struggle around this, is to stop the government removing state housing, and/or shifting state housing to marginal and undesirable areas.  Last night a group (largely made up of women) continued their protest against the removal of state housing in Glen Innes, undeterred by the wet weather.  These protesters are staunch, and the indication is that they include a significant proportion of women, Maori and Pasifika people:

Many were back, including Maxine Ngata who claimed she was helping move an elderly woman out of the way when she was arrested.

“An officer hooked his arm around my neck from behind but I managed to get away. I ran up the road and he shouted to two men to ‘get her’.

“My arm was twisted behind my back, they tried to push me to the ground but couldn’t.”

She’s upset that her home will be taken from underneath her family, which will move to Henderson.

“My dad’s been a minister at the Tongan Methodist Church for 26 years. He was basically told to find another one in Henderson.”

This is probably why the Mana Party is at the forefront of this struggle.  Prior to last night’s protest they had called for a media presence to ensure against police brutality.

The overall employment statistics are an indication of the worsening of harsh living conditions for many.  A close look at the statistics shows which groups are doing it the toughest. The worsening employment situation for men, indicates more people that were previously unaffected, are now facing an insecure existence.

13 comments on “Hard times & demographics”

  1. Yep, don’t believe National when it tells us we are some place isolated from the rest of the world, Europe and America are suffering just as New Zealanders are. National supporters aren’t representative of the majority of New Zealanders (many of them like to pretend that every problem is due to the ‘left wing conspiracy’ to ‘steal their wealth’). There is no reason why we shouldn’t draw comparisons with our situation and that of America and Europe as New Zealanders are poor, homeless, unemployed and struggling to build lives for themselves.

  2. Treetop 2

    Dense housing like in a retirement village is going to create a lot of social problems, thin walls (where a conversation or the TV/stereo is heard), slamming doors and children playing outside making just a bit of noise, or pets (barking dogs or cats using the neighbours garden).

    National’s state/social housing policy is already a failure because there is a difference between the life style of retired people and families with children.

    Hone this morning on RNZ said that building 20,000 state homes in time would be paid for by those renting them and there would also be skilled training jobs. To fund this, Hone said to reverse the tax cuts.

    More on housing on insight, RNZ on Sunday morning at 8 am repeated on Monday night at 7.30 pm.

    • aerobubble 2.1

      Poor design now is causing huge social problems, leak homes, cross lease that neighbors believe own the shared driveway outright, boyracers who belive oil will never run out…. Houses now are just souped up sheds and have no double glazing, or even reconcilable noise reduction features.
      And then don’t get me started about the building industry, designing homes with such poor materials that cost too much. NZ is time honored for its ability to be the market for all the failed products that did not sell overseas, amongst them noisy exhausts.

  3. muzza 3

    Its going along well isn’t it, the good ship SS-NZ

    So the next step will be the further rise in ..

    1: Poverty, including children
    2: Abuse (probably why they removed domestic abuse from the stats)
    3: Crime (gotta live somehow)
    4: Suicides, death and so on…

    Yup, this is the result of policies, which I refer to as genocidal. Some say its too strong a word, but it is trageted attacks on groups (many) of people, resulting in deaths for sure!

    Tick tock!

  4. Michael 4

    Alienation of the proletariat from the political process probably explains Labour’s strategy, too. Why bother with policies aiming at social justice when the people who benefit from those policies no longer vote? From that perspective, Labour’s actions make political sense, even if they are morally repugnant.

    • karol 4.1

      Well, maybe as Cunliffe says, it’s time to change from the third way policies of the last few decades – ones that were an attempt to adapt to the neoliberal triumphalism of that period need to be laid to rest, & new ones developed.

       
      Cunliffe believes a new epoch is now upon us and that the left will no longer play second fiddle to the right as it has these past three decades. “The left of politics had to really adapt. You got Clinton’s Democrats. You got Blair’s Third Way, which to some extent had to accommodate and triangulate on triumphal markets and the Washington Consensus, and then the great crash of ’08-’09 happened and I reckon – we reckon – that that changes things again,” he says. “That gives not only the necessity but the freedom for us to ask big questions about do those policy settings, pre-crash, fit our people well for the future? And the answer in many cases is no.”

      But Mana is really leading the way to engage the disenfranchised politically.  There certainly are low income women, Maori and Pasifika people protesting alonng side Mana on Housing and employment issues.  It’s just that they are a minority at the moment.
       
      But we shouldn’t be waiting for political parties to lead the way.  It needs to be a flax roots revivial of political engagement.
       

    • Draco T Bastard 4.2

      +1

      Labour are as much about propping up the failed socio-economic system of capitalism as National are and that requires ignoring the poverty, social exclusion and injustice that is systemic of capitalism.

      • kiwicommie 4.2.1

        Depends, some in Labour generally wouldn’t stand out if they were in the National party but you can’t expect the 80s-90s era of politicians that supported the radical Rogernomics of the time to adopt new economics and ideas. Lots of people seem to think that politicians can just pick up new policies and ideas, but politicians are human and can have the same flaws i.e. ideological narrow-mindedness and closed-mindedness. Unfortunately we are just going to have to wait for some of that generation to kick the bucket.

  5. fatty 5

    “According to statistics that are not seasonally adjusted, older people have also been hit hardest, with an increase in unemployment amongst those aged 50-54 (up 4,000) and 60-64 (up 3000). There are also worsening trends in employment for 45-49 year olds.”

    The other problem associated with this is that National have cut student loans to over 55 years (I think). This contrasts with the term ’employability’ which has been pushed on us under third way ideology. Employability requires upskilling and education at all stages of life, but this ‘opportunity’ (another third way myth) does not exist for many older people. So we have an education/employment system that creates exclusion, rather than ‘inclusion’ (…another third way term).
    Interestingly, employability, opportunity and inclusion all existed in 2003 under third way when the economy was humming along, but not anymore. Now we have unemployable, no opportunity and exclusion. Its difficult to see how third way offers protection to the volatility of capitalism.
    I have no idea why student loans we cut for over 55 year olds, but then again, the student loan scheme has never been about logic. The age of 55 is quite a good time to study, particularly within an occupation like social work. Life experience, fewer personal responsibilities such as family (maybe), and an increase of social awareness. In addition, if a person graduated at 58 with a social work degree, they would have 8 years of work before hitting retirement age, and most social workers only last about 5 years in the occupation. Plus, most baby-boomers that are getting to retirement age have no intention of retiring, and judging by the cost of living, often not the means. Also part-time social workers are great, its not a job that require full time commitment. Same with a lot of other jobs in the caring industry.

  6. xtasy 6

    It is ALL bad, Karol, and I am a “white” poor, I have never been true “middle class”, due to my particular circumstances and also convictions. The “middle class” to a fair degree would despise me as a “failed person”, for whatever reason. I am thoug WHITE and down there. There are more of us too. So I have all sympathy for Maori, Pacific people and others, but this is not just about ethnic issues, it goes deeper. It is about disowning and discriminating against a wider sector of society, that does “not meet demands” of a hyper commercialised “on call” labour market. I have witnessed how they send “troops” around warehouses and supermarkets to stock shelves, to do other odd jobs on an “on call” hourly rate, that nobody can live off.

    That is the same as socialising debt due to the global financial crisis. This is “socialising” labour costs, and most employers do it. When the costs though get “too high”, they start moaning and complaining about “benefit costs”, which the stat pays to afford their unethical out-sourcing of costs.

    So you cannot win with such rules and conditions, where the business and employer sectors use the state and collective power of the tax-payer to cover their down times and afford themselves better profits.

    There must be an end to such methods and philosophies, same as selling out to wrong over seas scavenger investors and FTAs that benefit others, rather than NZ and workers here. This country has been sold out for too long, and it is time people wake up and take decisive action.

    Why for decades did socially functioning societies in Scandinavia, Central Europe and also other places do well for decades, also developing and improving living standards? Do not tell me the lie of indebtedness, which has recently been re-invented by the new right economists, who ignore that even Japan manages somehow on huge debt. Propaganda is a large part of what you get fed through the news dayly. Watch out and read alternative info, to keep sanity and objectivity.

    • rosy 6.1

      +1 on that xtasy. Well said.

    • karol 6.2

      It is pretty depressing, xtasy.  But my view is to keep on trying to be critical of the media and, as you say, read alternatives to the MSM.  The media is slowly turning against this government, but it is also very critical of someone like Cunliffe who aims to turn, just a little bit, away from the dominant neoliberal values.
       
      I do sense a bit of a new change coming, but it may be too little, too late.  We shall see.
       

  7. Kiws 7

    Sick of the so-called national supporters!they can`t even represent the majority of kiwis at all. Why does somebody always like to separate the group in to “middle class”,”poor”, even the colors of the skin. That`s really nonsense。

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    The departure of John Campbell is a blow to current affairs investigative journalism, Labour’s Broadcasting Spokesperson Clare Curran says. “Campbell Live stood out in its field. Its axing comes as local broadcasting in New Zealand remains in a state of… ...
    2 days ago
  • KiwiSaver cut shows no long-term plan
    National’s cutting of the KiwiSaver kickstart is incredibly short-term thinking, typical of a Budget that is woefully short on ideas to generate wealth and opportunity, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “New Zealand’s savings rate is far too low. KiwiSaver… ...
    2 days ago
  • National hits the panic button for its 7th Budget
    National has hit the panic button for its 7th Budget in a desperate attempt to look like they’re taking action to reduce our shameful child poverty rates, but they are giving with one hand and taking with the other, Opposition… ...
    2 days ago
  • Panic and back-flips can’t hide twin deficits
    National’s token measures to fight fires they have left burning for seven long years can’t hide a Budget that is long on broken promises, short on vision and fails to reach surplus, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “After being… ...
    2 days ago
  • Auckland land measure seven years too late
    National are so desperate to look like they are doing something about the Auckland housing crisis they have dusted off Labour’s 2008 inventory of government land available for housing and re-announced it, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. “Despite National… ...
    3 days ago
  • Access to gender reassignment surgery essential
    I was frankly disgusted to hear the Minister for Health say that funding gender reassignment surgeries is a “nutty idea”. A recent study found that in New Zealand 1% of young people identified themselves as transgender, and 3% were unsure… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    4 days ago
  • Global milk prices now lowest in 6 years
    The latest fall in the global dairy price has brought it to the lowest level in six years and shows there must be meaningful action in tomorrow’s Budget to diversify the economy, says Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “Dairy prices… ...
    4 days ago
  • Big risks as CYF checks stopped
    Revelations that Child, Youth and Family is no longer assisting home-based early childhood educators by vetting potential employees should set alarm bells ringing, Labour Children’s spokesperson Jacinda Ardern says. “Doing away with an extra mechanism for checking potential new employees… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • Housing crisis about real people not numbers
    The Government’s continued failure to tackle the housing crisis is seeing thousands of vulnerable Kiwis being kept off social housing waiting lists, while others, who are on the list, are being forced to live in cars and garages, says Labour’s… ...
    4 days ago
  • State of origin
    Kiwis are increasingly concerned about the food they give their families. New Zealand consumers have the right to know where their food has come from, particularly when it involves animals, and should be able to expect our Government to label… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    4 days ago
  • Relationships Aotearoa
    It is disturbing that Relationships Aotearoa, a voluntary organisation set up in 1949 to help couples struggling with their relationships following the upheavals of World War II, may be forced to close, says Acting Spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community… ...
    5 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • An economy that is just working for some is an economy that is not working
    The National Party presents itself as a great manager of the economy, but if the economy is only working for some we really need to question that assertion. Alongside the perpetually elusive surplus, the levels of risk in our economy are… ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie MP
    5 days ago
  • House prices to a crack $1 million in 17 months
    The average Auckland home is on track to cost $1 million in 17 months’ time if nothing substantial is done to rein in soaring price rises, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. “Auckland’s house prices have skyrocketed 63 per cent… ...
    5 days ago
  • Vital support services can’t be left in lurch
    The National Government has big questions to answer about how a provider of services to thousands of vulnerable New Zealanders is set to fold, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. Relationships Aotearoa which provides support and counselling to families, individuals… ...
    5 days ago
  • Treasury and IRD on a capital gains tax
    Both the Treasury and IRD have been advising the National Government on the benefits of a capital gains tax. Documents released to the Green Party under an Official Information Act request show that John Key has been selective with the… ...
    GreensBy Russel Norman MP
    5 days ago
  • Charity legislation needs review
    It is unacceptable that the big corporate based charities claim  millions in annual income tax exemptions, while small community based and operated non-profit organisations  struggle to gain official charity status, Labour’s acting spokesperson for the Voluntary and Community Sector Louisa… ...
    6 days ago
  • John’s panic-Key response to housing crisis
    John Key needs to tell New Zealanders what caused his sudden change of heart that led to the Government’s scrambled and last-minute housing measures, Opposition Leader Andrew Little says. “The Prime Minister’s sudden rush of blood to his head followed… ...
    6 days ago
  • Keep our Assets Christchurch Campaign: An update
    I recently presented my submission to keep Christchurch Council assets at the Christchurch City Council’s public hearings on its 10 year plan on 13 May. The hearings are live-streamed and recorded so you can watch them on www.ccc.govt.nz. The Council’s… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    6 days ago
  • John Key finally admits there’s a housing crisis
    John Key’s weak measures to rein in the astronomical profits property speculators are making are an admission – finally – that there is a housing crisis, Labour Leader Andrew Little says. “But yet again National is tinkering with the housing… ...
    6 days ago
  • Government stifles voices in CYFs review
    The Government’s exclusion of the Māori Women’s Welfare League in a panel on the future of CYFs is a cynical ploy to stifle views, says Labour’s Māori Development Spokesperson Nanaia Mahuta. “It's unbelievable that a significant review on the future… ...
    1 week ago
  • Speech to the Otago Chamber of Commerce
    Thank you very much for the opportunity to be here today. It’s a pleasure as always to be back in the town that raised me. Growing up in St Kilda meant that there was one thing that was a big… ...
    1 week ago
  • Key can’t just be Prime Minister for Parnell
    John Key must show New Zealanders in next week’s Budget that he is more than the Prime Minister for Parnell, and is also the Prime Minister for Pine Hill, Putararu and Palmerston North, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. In… ...
    1 week ago
  • Stop the conversions
    This week, some Waikato locals took me and intrepid photographer Amanda Rogers on a tour of some  lakes and waterways in their region, and up to the massive dairy conversions in the upper catchment of the Waikato River. It… ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty MP
    1 week ago
  • More regional jobs go in Corrections reshape
    News that 194 Corrections staff are to lose their jobs will have ramifications not only for them and their families but for the wider community, Labour’s Corrections spokesperson Kelvin Davis says. Prison units at Waikeria, Tongariro and Rimutaka face closure… ...
    1 week ago
  • Government’s climate meetings off to a bumpy start
    On Wednesday, I attended a hui and an evening meeting that the Government had organised in Nelson as part of its climate change consultation tour, to support the Nelson community telling the Government to take meaningful action on climate change.… ...
    GreensBy Steffan Browning MP
    1 week ago
  • Taxpayers the only ones left feeling blue
    Ministry of Social Development bosses could have saved themselves thousands of dollars in consultants’ fees by providing staff with rose-tinted spectacles, Labour’s State Services spokesperson Kris Faafoi says. A report out today reveals the Ministry is spending over half a… ...
    1 week ago
  • Why are the regions still facing restrictions?
    Labour's Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford is questioning why the regions should continue to be saddled with LVR lending restrictions announced by the Reserve Bank today. “Labour has been calling for the regions to be exempted from LVRs for the best… ...
    1 week ago
  • The high costs of weak environmental regulation
    Te Waihora/Lake Ellesmere is described on the Department of Conservation website as “Canterbury’s largest and New Zealand’s fifth largest [lake], and an internationally important wildlife area.” But the lake is also polluted by nutrients leaching from farms in the catchment.… ...
    GreensBy Eugenie Sage MP
    1 week ago
  • Submissions to Wellington City Council on their Gambling Venues Policy
    Every three years Councils across the country are required to check that their gambling venue policies are still fit for purpose and they can choose to consult on their policy if they are thinking of making changes. Councils don’t have… ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche MP
    1 week ago
  • Reserve Bank action shows Govt out of touch and out of ideas
    The Reserve Bank’s unprecedented measures today show it understands the serious risks of the overheating housing market – in complete contrast to John Key’s refusal to acknowledge the crisis, Labour’s Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson says. “The Bank is right to… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Send us your snaps: 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year we've hit a milestone. We're turning 25.To help celebrate a quarter of a century, please send us your photos from the last 25 years of the Green Party Aotearoa New Zealand! Note: Photos must be jpg, gif or… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • 25 Years of the Green Party
    This year the Green Party sends 25. To help us celebrate a quarter of a century please send us you photos of 25 years of the Green Party!Photos must be jpg,gif or png and smaller than 2MB. If you are… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Bay growth plan too little too late
    Today’s Bay of Plenty growth study from MBIE is another example of Government spin - lots of talk but little action, says Labour’s Regional Development spokesperson David Cunliffe.  “This is a region that desperately needs to develop the downstream processing… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government bows to ACC pressure
     The Government has finally buckled to pressure from Labour and the New Zealand public in making a half billion dollar cut to ACC levies, but the full benefits are two years away,” says Opposition Leader Andrew Little.  “$500 million over… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • False figures cloud Auckland transport facts
    The Prime Minister should apologise and issue a correction after both he and Transport Minister Simon Bridges have been caught out misrepresenting facts on Auckland’s transport spending, Labour’s Housing spokesperson Phil Twyford says. "Both John Key and Simon Bridges have… ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt books confirm National can’t post surplus
    The last publication of the Government’s books before the budget shows National will break its promise of seven years and two election campaigns and fail to get the books in order, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The Government is… ...
    2 weeks ago

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