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。

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Health running on empty
    Get ready for more cuts to health at a local level, affecting all New Zealanders, after a Budget that failed to deliver even enough for health services to stand still, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark. “District Health Boards this ...
    1 hour ago
  • Nats’ budget a double-crewed ambulance parked at the bottom of the cliff
    National’s election year Budget shows that there’s no coincidence Finance Minister Steven Joyce doubles as National’s campaign manager, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson. “The 2017 Budget reveals a lack of vision, and is simply an election year budget with ...
    18 hours ago
  • After nine years, it’s the One Dollar Bill Budget
    National’s Budget 2017 is an irresponsible election bribe which after nine years exposes a government that’s run out of energy and ideas to tackle the big issues facing New Zealand,” says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “This is simply cynical electioneering ...
    21 hours ago
  • Alfred Ngaro might be sorry – but to whom?
    The fact that the number of people classified as homeless on the Social Housing Register has doubled over the past year alone should be the real reason for Alfred Ngaro’s recent apologies, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “As ...
    2 days ago
  • Government’s data-for-funding backdown embarrassing
    The Government’s U-turn on their shambolic attempt to collect private client data from social services is an embarrassment for a senior Minister, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “After months of criticism and mismanagement, the Government has finally cut ...
    2 days ago
  • Overloaded hospitals reach crisis point
      The country’s hospitals have reached breaking point with some hospitals discharging patients to free up bed space and patients with serious injuries having to wait hours to be seen by a doctor, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   ...
    2 days ago
  • National fails on critical school building needs
    Students are paying the price of the Government’s failure to invest fast enough in school buildings to keep pace with Auckland’s increasing population, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Parents should lay the blame for their children having to put up ...
    2 days ago
  • Tipping culture is not welcome in NZ
    Deputy Prime Minister Paula Bennett’s comments about tipping have been in the news and have sparked off a series of furious discussions about tipping in Aotearoa. From our point of view, tipping every time you’re provided a service is a ...
    GreensBy Denise Roche
    3 days ago
  • Mental Health a huge cost for Police
      The cost of dealing with mental health incidents for our police was a staggering $36.7 million which shows just why we need Labour’s fresh approach on Mental Health, says the Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little.   “Police now ...
    3 days ago
  • Grant Robertson: Speech to Otago-Southland Employers Association
    Thanks to the Otago Southland Employers Association and Virginia for hosting me this evening.  It is always a pleasure to come back to the city and region that shaped who I am as a person. I believe that growing up ...
    4 days ago
  • Renting a home in the Wild West
    It can be tough renting a place to live, and it could be about to get tougher. Radio NZ is reporting that the American Rentberry app wants to start operating in New Zealand. Rentberry allows landlords to play perspective tenants ...
    GreensBy Metiria Turei
    4 days ago
  • Free West Papua leader in Aotearoa
    Last week I hosted Free West Papua leader Benny Wenda at Parliament and travelled with him to a number of important events. Benny is spokesperson for the United Liberation Movement for West Papua and lives in exile in England. 14 ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    6 days ago
  • Nats unprepared for record immigration
    National’s under-investment in housing, public services, and infrastructure means New Zealand is literally running out of beds for the record number of new migrants, says Labour’s Immigration spokesperson Iain Lees-Galloway. ...
    7 days ago
  • Labour opposes Ports of Auckland sale
    Labour would strongly oppose the sell-off of the Ports of Auckland to fix a short term cash crisis caused by the Government blocking the city’s requests for new ways to fund infrastructure, says Labour’s Auckland Issues spokesperson Phil Twyford. “National ...
    1 week ago
  • Workers pay the price of Silver Fern’s Fairton closure
    The threatened closure of Silver Fern Farms’ Fairton Plant in Ashburton raises serious questions about the Government’s support of the sale of half of the company to a foreign company, when it appears this outcome may have been inevitable, says ...
    1 week ago
  • National’s answer to the housing crisis: One new affordable house per 100 new Aucklanders
    National’s fudge of a housing plan will make Auckland even more of a speculators’ paradise, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    1 week ago
  • Government can’t be trusted with private data
    The independent review of the Ministry of Social Development’s data breach in April has shown, once again, that the Ministry cannot be trusted with private client information, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. “The investigation by former Deloitte chairman ...
    1 week ago
  • Another crisis, another half-baked National plan
    The National Party may have finally woken up to the teacher supply crisis facing our schools but their latest half-baked, rushed announcement falls well short of the mark in terms of what’s required, says Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats: Don’t bite the hand that feeds you
    Alfred Ngaro’s recent comments have exposed the Government’s ‘don’t bite the hand that feeds you’ approach, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel Sepuloni. ...
    1 week ago
  • Breaking news – National admits there’s a housing crisis
    National finally admits there’s a housing crisis, but today’s belated announcement is simply not a credible response to the problem it’s been in denial about for so long, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “National can’t now credibly claim ...
    1 week ago
  • Nats lay the ground for housing bust
    Goldman Sachs’ warning that New Zealand has the developed world’s most over-priced housing market, with a 40 per cent chance of a bust within two years, shows the consequences of National’s nine years of housing neglect, says Labour Housing spokesperson ...
    1 week ago
  • Well they would say that, wouldn’t they?
    Property investors’ lobby groups have been up in arms this week about Labour and Green parties’ plans to close tax loopholes and fix the housing market. That’s probably a good thing. Like an investor in any other sector, they expect ...
    GreensBy James Shaw
    1 week ago
  • Alfred Ngaro reflects National’s culture of silencing debate
    Image from Getty Images Community groups must be free to advocate for the people they serve. It’s these people who see first-hand if ideas dreamt up in Wellington actually work on the ground. It’s essential that they can speak freely ...
    GreensBy Jan Logie
    1 week ago
  • Bill English must reassure community organisations
    The Prime Minister must do more to reassure community organisations after Cabinet Minister Alfred Ngaro's apparent threats to their funding if they criticise government policy which has left a born-to-rule perception amongst many, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “Alfred Ngaro ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Extremism and its discontents
    Another scar on global democracy appeared recently, this time in Germany.It seems that the number of soldiers on duty with extremist political leanings has become a concern to the military leadership in that country. Soldiers were found openly possessing ...
    GreensBy Kennedy Graham
    2 weeks ago
  • Government’s suicide approach disappoints
    Mike King’s sudden departure from the Government’s suicide prevention panel, amid claims the Government’s approach is ‘deeply flawed’, is further evidence National is failing on mental health, says Labour’s Deputy Leader Jacinda Ardern. “Mental health is reaching crisis point in ...
    2 weeks ago
  • National backs speculators, fails first home buyers
    National is showing its true colours and backing speculators who are driving first home buyers out of the market, says Labour Leader Andrew Little. “By defending a $150m a year hand-out to property speculators, Bill English is turning his back ...
    2 weeks ago
  • More oversight by Children’s Commissioner needed
    More funding and more independence is required for the Children’s Commissioner to function more effectively in the best interests of Kiwi kids in State care, says Labour’s spokesperson for children Jacinda Ardern. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour to end tax breaks for speculators; invest in warm, healthy homes
    Labour will shut down tax breaks for speculators and use the savings to help make 600,000 homes warmer and healthier over the next ten years, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. “It’s time for fresh thinking to tackle the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Health of young people a priority for Labour
    Labour will ensure all young people have access to a range of health care services on-site at their local secondary school, says Labour’s deputy leader Jacinda Ardern. “Our policy will see School Based Health Services extended to all public secondary ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Ratifying the TPPA makes no sense
    The recent high-fiving between the government and agricultural exporters over ratification of the TPPA (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement) is empty gesture politics in an election year. Ratification by New Zealand means nothing. New Zealand law changes are not implemented unless the ...
    GreensBy Barry Coates
    2 weeks ago
  • NIWA report proves National’s trickery re swimmable rivers
    National have a slacker standard for swimmable rivers than was the case prior to their recent so-called Clean Water amendment to the National Policy Statement (NPS), says Labour’s Water spokesperson David Parker. “The table 11 on page 25 of the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • MPS shows new approach needed on housing
    The Reserve Bank’s latest Monetary Policy Statement provides further evidence that only a change in government will start to fix the housing crisis, says Labour Finance spokesperson Grant Robertson. “It is more evident than ever that only a Labour-led government ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Fresh approach on mental health
    Labour will introduce a pilot scheme of specialist mental health teams across the country in government to ensure swifter and more effective treatment for those who need urgent help, says Labour’s Leader Andrew Little. “Mental health is in crisis. It ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Sallies back Labour’s plan for affordable homes
    The country’s most respected social agency has endorsed Labour’s KiwiBuild plan to build homes that families can afford to buy, and delivered a withering assessment of the National Government’s housing record, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford. ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Education is for everyone, not just the elite
    Proposals by the National Party to ration access to higher education will once again make it a privilege only available to the elite, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. “Speaking at the Education Select Committee, Maurice Williamson let the National ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Cancer support changes far too little, certainly late
    Anne Tolley’s belated backtrack to finally allow Jobseeker clients suffering from cancer to submit only one medical certificate to prove their illness fails to adequately provide temporary support for people too sick to work, says Labour’s Social Development spokesperson Carmel ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Kids must come first in enrolment debate
    The best interests of children should be the major driver of any change to policies around initial school enrolments, not cost cutting or administrative simplicity, Labour’s Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says.   “The introduction of school cohort entry is ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Feed the Kids
    While in Whangarei last week, I had the pleasure of meeting Buddhi Manta from the Hare Krishna movement whose cafe is making lunch for some schools in Whangarei. His group have been feeding up to 1,000 primary school kids at local ...
    GreensBy Catherine Delahunty
    3 weeks ago
  • DHBs’ big budget blowout
    New Zealand’s District Health Boards are now facing a budget deficit of nearly $90 million dollars, a significant blowout on what was forecast, says Labour’s Health spokesperson David Clark.   Labour believes health funding must grow to avoid further cuts ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Govt plays catch up on drug funding
    The Government's backdown on Pharmac is welcomed because previous rhetoric around the agency being adequately funded was just nonsense, says Labour's Health spokesperson David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago