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Spin-bustin’: unemployment drop

Written By: - Date published: 9:22 am, May 10th, 2013 - 11 comments
Categories: jobs - Tags:

The working age population grows by around 30,000 a year. A bit over two-thirds of them work or want a job. So, to keep unemployment from rising, the economy needs at least 20,000 additional jobs per year. So, the drop in unemployment must mean we did that and some last year, eh? No. Just 8,000 jobs were added last year. Unemployment fell because people dropped out.

The working age population rose by 30,000 last year but the number of people in the labour force (ie in work or officially unemployed, that is, without a job and actively seeking one) fell by 7,000. There’s more than 27,000 fewer people in the labour-force than we would have expected. Those people have given up actively looking for work. They may have retired early or become a stay-at-home parent or taken up study or they may be ‘jobless’ (that’s the officially unemployed plus people who want a job but aren’t looking ‘actively’ enough to meet Stats NZ’s definition of unemployed).

But, still, 8,000 more jobs in the year = yay!?

Um. It’s better than nothing. But it’s the worst result since the end of the recession.

employment increase

Let’s look at it the other way round.

adults not working

And that’s why the headline unemployment number is a stupid number to look at. It can fall if people get jobs OR if they give up looking for one. You want to look at the number of jobs. And it ain’t a pretty picture.

11 comments on “Spin-bustin’: unemployment drop”

  1. ianmac 1

    Agreeing with you but wouldn’t the 30,000 be in balance with a similar number who retire or die?

    • ghostwhowalksnz 1.1

      note the word ‘grows’ and as well there is no compulsory retirement at 65 anymore- and why should there be-

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        Encourage older people out of full time work, place them into advisory, governance, training, mentoring or non-profit roles so that society can still have access to their knowledge and wisdom, and to allow younger people can take up the reins.

        • ghostwhowalksnz

          Surely you jest. Some sort of second class job ? just because you are over 60. Its untenable

        • Foreign Waka

          Most work at that age because the pension is too little to live on and too much to die…

  2. Mary 2

    What about all the people who are discouraged to make applications for benefits when they arrive at the office? And the increasing number of people who’re given the run around so much they give up and don’t want anything to do with Work and Income? Or all the people who’re wrongly thrown off benefits because of some made up policy that doesn’t exist? Where’re Bennett’s figures on these? Will Jacinda Ardern know to ask her about this? Will she want to?

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    The Left need to get its head around the changing nature of jobs, work, income and having a living. They are not the same thing and our political economy is not set up to recognise that.

    By the way, Greek youth unemployment just jumped from 59% to 64% in one month.

  4. BrucetheMoose 4

    Ummm, I don’t suppose the fifty odd thousand who buggered off overseas in the last 12 months has a part in anything to do with the drop in jobless figures?

  5. Rogue Trooper 5

    Employment levels have only risen in the three main centres- Dominic Stevens

    RNZ commentary: “on a year on year basis, employment levels have still not returned to those of the previous year; unemployment levels will continue to remain high.”

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