Over the last week or so, I’ve heard John Key, Bill English, and Paula Bennett all make self-congratulatory references to the number of people receiving the unemployment benefit decreasing in October. That sounded weird to me. No-one seriously thinks unemployment has stopped increasing.
MSD doesn’t regularly release the month by month data but I eventually managed to get hold of it, and this is what I found.
See how within the overall trend there’s a regular peak every December to February, a dip, another bump from June to September, and another little dip in October and November before Christmas.
In nine of the ten years between 1999 and 2008, the number of people on the unemployment benefit fell between September and October. The average drop is 2.7%, the drop from this September to October was 1.1% (600).
As Fran O’Sullivan said last week “Bennett [is] too busy puffing her own achievements” to actually do anything about unemployment. What these stats show is that even the achievements she claims are illusory.
The small drop in people on the dole last month is a normal part of a seasonal pattern, nothing for the government to skite about. But that’s this government all over, isn’t it? All skite and no substance.
Meanwhile, 250,000 jobless Kiwis wait for some leadership from this do-nothing government.