Social report

Written By: - Date published: 5:18 pm, October 19th, 2007 - 3 comments
Categories: labour - Tags:

The Ministry of Social Development’s Annual Social Report is worth a read. It shows good progress across a range of social indicators, but also that there’s still more to do.

If memory serves me correctly, the importance of an Annual Social Report was a cause championed by Steve Maharey back in 2001 – it’s now part of the legacy he leaves behind, today having announced that he’ll be standing down from Parliament next year. The Social Report brings together statistics from a range of areas and aims to give a better basis for tracking progress and identifying areas where further effort must be directed.

The report tells a lot of stories.

I think one of the most significant might be this: Maori unemployment has dropped from 17% to 8% since 1999 – it’s halved in the last eight years. Thousands of people who were unemployed throughout the 90s now have jobs.

A press release from Parakura Horomia in April this year puts these statistics in perspective. There were 44,000 Maori on an unemployment benefit in December 1999 and in March this year that number had dropped to 9,902 – a 78 per cent drop.

34,000 Maori workers in jobs and off benefits. That’s about as many people as live in Gisborne.

Happy Labour Weekend.

3 comments on “Social report”

  1. Sam Dixon 1

    look at all them trend lines.
    – education outcomes, health outcomes, workplace injuries, median incomes, disposible incomes, crime, house crowding, assault mortality, water quality, aerosol pollutant levels, road deaths, etc etc all heading in the right direction.
    – one that always strikes me is the fall in suicides tracks the fall in unemployment, especially youth unemployment, from its mid-1990s high
    as the Report states “This report shows social outcomes have improved strongly since the mid-1990s, as did previous reports”

    I can’t see an overall comparison with 10 years ago as there was in the 2006 report, that’s a shame, its impressive.

  2. Robinsod 2

    Hey Sam – I did a bit of work on this a few years ago as part of a research project (I had a couple of young friends kill themselves in the 90’s and they were both smart people denied any prospects) and the correlation between youth suicide and youth unemployment was frightening. From about 1987 onward they mapped almost exactly. It broke trend at 1999 – youth suicide fell rapidly and youth unemployment fell at a slower rate for a year or so and then youth unemployment caught up – it was like 1999 marked a point where youth gained hope. That sounds like a strong statement but for anyone who was mired in those days it makes a lot of sense. I’ll email these to the standard – maybe they’ll do something with them.

  3. Sam Dixon 3

    Robinsod – that kind of ties in with what I was saying the other day to Matt Nolan about the dehumanising effect of talking about ‘labour costs’ rather than wages.. if labour is just another cost, like the cost of cog, then the rational behaviour for the business is to reduce that cost as much as possible …

    that hard-economics view totally ignores that the economy is for people, not the other way around – people need decent work for decent pay, an opportuntiy to feel worthwhile and to have an income wih which to have a decent standard of living and real opportuities… but to the neoliberals they’re ust labour costs, they simply do not see the human cost.

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