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Polity: Regional income stats

Written By: - Date published: 12:00 pm, December 30th, 2013 - 14 comments
Categories: Economy, employment, spin - Tags:

polity_square_for_lynnThere is always a fool who prefers to invent a story rather than trying to understand it. Rob Salmond points out that David Farrar is one of them. Of course as he also implies that it might be simply convenient for a National puppet to cry “good news” at every possible opportunity in view of their stagnant and incompetent jobless mismanagement of the economy.

The Herald says the regions have rising incomes, but caution against reading anything into it. DPF reads everything into it anyway.

First, here’s your New Zealand Herald on the regional income stats out of the census:

The South Island has had bigger median income gains than the North over the past seven years, Census figures show.

But an expert cautions that the figures may point to changing work and migration patterns, rather than real growth in income for the same people.

Dr [Eric] Crampton said people on low incomes because of unemployment in rural regions might move to the city to seek work.

“If those unemployed in the regions were more likely to move to the big city while those unemployed in the city were less likely to leave, that, too, could explain some of the difference in regional income growth.”

Yep, the regional migration statistics back that up, too. The regions with the supposedly highest median income growth also had some of the worst records in population growth, while the areas whose populations grew the fastest had relatively little change in median incomes.

AUT sociology professor Charles Crothers said the Census statistics undervalued the economic activity for self-employed people.

Statistics NZ said the Census question on income had a high non-response rate, with 9.7 per cent of respondents refusing to say how much they made.

So, the headline figures say one thing, but a parade of experts (including well-known leftie agitator Eric Crampton) say the result is iffy at best and could easily mask the opposite pattern in reality. Let’s seeDPF’s take on the whole thing, under the headline”Didn’t Labour claim the provinces were not sharing in the recovery?”:

So median income down in Auckland and massive growth in Buller, Asburton, Southland and Taranaki. This is what Labour calls the provinces missing out. I never knew they regarded Auckland as a province.

Great job completely ignoring the experts, there! Seriously, how dumb does the right think everybody is?

This is a pattern of behaviour that will bite National next year. They think they can trumpet any old figure as victory, no matter how flimsy the pretence, like the time they claimed victory over unemployment because things were so hopeless that tens of thousands moved to Australia.

New Zealanders are not so silly as they seem to believe.

14 comments on “Polity: Regional income stats”

  1. tricledrown 1

    National are throwing money to the high population areas to maximise its vote .
    Short term thinking again no surprise.
    Building up regions has a longer term payback as it takes time for this money ends up back in the cities economies.
    Buying votes is all National is focusing on.

  2. ghostwhowalksnz 2

    There is a bit of using colours to mask the decline.

    There should be a separate colour for the range of -1% to +1%. Essentially these are static numbers – plus its over 7 years !!

  3. James 3

    “Seriously, how dumb does the right think everybody is?”

    We’re in the second term of a National-lead government. I think they have a good idea.

  4. Tracey 4

    Well said james. Farrar et al know that if it sounds like a fact and gets printed it will be taken as a fact by the media and the skim readers.

  5. Jimmie 5

    Or the reason why many of the regions are doing well is that hateful dairy farmers are enjoying their highest ever payout and are spreading some of their hard earned earnings around….also the oil industry seems to be doing well as well.

    It could be that NZ’s economy is on the up in 2014 which really sucks if you’re hoping for Mr Cunilffe to be PM next year.

    I can see a peak in demand for psychologists next November after the left face another depressing 3 years in the political wilderness.

    John Key won in 2011 because of the earthquakes, and now he’s gona win in 2014 because the economy is booming………..Nuts!

    • Draco T Bastard 5.1

      I figure that NZ’s economy is going to crash next year. No particular reason, just a feeling but then it’s the same feeling I had in 2003 when I said that the global economy would crash between 2006 and 2008.

    • millsy 5.2

      Oh god, another delusional idiot.

      Those at the top will get all the gains from the economic boom, and those on the bottom will get nothing but a slap down when they ask for a share in the good times like a pay rise, or some more government services.

      The same thing happened in the 1990’s and its going to happen again.

  6. Ad 6

    Those South Island stats looked like a map of dairy conversions.
    Queenstown-Lakes won’t move because its choked with retired people on $18k, plus tourist industry workers on $20 under the table.
    Labour used to be able to win regional seats. The map shows why they won’t until they figure out their regional story.

    Remember Karol’s post yesterday complaining about funding for a regional cycling initiative? More regional votes lost to the Nats. Nats understand urban arrogance from the opposition.

    Also for all the free trade critics: all that Chinese and India-destined milk powder actually bought strong measurable economic growth to regions that need it.

    • you_fool 6.1

      I think you missed the point of the post – Yes the dairy/oil industry are doing good, but they are not providing jobs they are shedding jobs and the people who are now jobless move from the region that is “doing well” to a city, or other region, which drags down that region, even if that region was doing fine.

      i.e.

      Region A (rural) had 10 jobs, 100,20,20,20,20,20,20,20,20,20 (one farmer and 9 hands)
      Region B (Urban) had 10 jobs 50,50,50,50,50,50,50,50,50,50 (assumed to be same for this purpose)

      Region A median is 20
      Region B median is 50

      Some time later farmer has fired 8 hands (for what ever reason) and they moved to the city because they felt there was a better chance of getting a job there. 5 of them found jobs (at starting rate of 50)but 3 couldn’t find jobs – his income has increased as well as his costs decreased (i.e. he is making more even without the lower costs). At the same time all the city workers had a pay increase of 10

      Region A now is 175,30 (median 102.5)

      Region B now is 60,60,60,60,60,60,60,60,60,60,50,50,50,50,50,0,0,0 (median 60)

      Region A has had a percentage increase of 413% whilst Region B has had an increase of 20% but which is doing better? Region A only looks so well because everyone left, but then it also had an increase of real wages. Region B had an increase in real wages, but they is now a big imbalance incomes as the city has become flooded with unemployed rural workers. The farmer is happy, the one farm hand may or may not be happy (his drinking buddies have left, but he has more money.) The city folk and employed displaced farm hands may or may not be happy (have more money, but also have more people taking up resources / had to leave there home town) and the unemployed displaced farm hands are unhappy as they now have no job and can’go home as they know there is no job there.

      • Ad 6.1.1

        Dr Crampton gave no evidence for his assertions.

        You need to pop out to those high income growth areas and judge for yourself.

    • ghostwhowalksnz 6.2

      Ad, the income numbers are from the census, so are self declared.
      Nobody is going to check what you claim here as opposed to what the IRD is told.
      Under the table makes no difference essentially

  7. Chooky 7

    @ Ad ….”Labour used to be able to win regional seats”….agreed!… my parents were regional and from farms and voted Labour all their lives …until my Father disgusted with Rogernomics voted for Jim Anderton…In his time he was a railway man , a freezing worker, a fisherman , an insurance salesman and a farmer….his brother was a pilot ….his Maori and Pakeha friends naturally included those originally from the city and those rural workers and farmers…( some farmers were wealthy city lawyers become farmers) ….but many were humbly economically ‘poor’ workers ( although given their environment they didnt regard themselves as such)….and subsistence farmers

    Labour has to win the Regions if it is to become government in 2014 with the Greens!….many rural people are not wealthy but get by and will be looking for a reason to vote Labour ( many already vote Green because they love the environment)

    This is why the ‘politics of envy’ recently incited imo by Chris Trotter…. and the pitting of Labour Lefty trendo city working class and unemployed against the rural dwellers ( many Green) …..and those ( many women) trying to get by via Farmers Markets is not helpful ….He is attacking both the Green voter and the potential rural Labour voter…And with this sort of spin he is on target to swing it for National ( one wonders where his head is at)

    http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2013/12/30/means-of-escape-examining-the-heartland-myth/

    In France Farmers Markets are not regarded as elitist or the produce of the rich …..but a good way far all to eat locally and healthily from the artisan and farmer and the local terroir ….and for a modest price ( cutting out the big supermarkets and multi national business middle men) France probably has the most activist Left working class in the world ….and with this activism goes free education (including university education) and a public health system which leaves USA for dead….as well as leading the world in working conditions and hours…and retirement policies

    Labour MUST win the Heartland!….with inclusive politics and rural economic policies.

  8. dave 8

    its mmp we ony need to engineer a 3 percent swing and slippery is toast i can be liveing in the most blue of seats my party vote counts

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