web analytics

Unemployment at record low (again)

Written By: - Date published: 1:14 pm, February 7th, 2008 - 17 comments
Categories: economy, workers' rights - Tags: ,

From Stuff:

Growing numbers of women in the workforce pushed New Zealand’s unemployment rate down to a new record of 3.4 per cent in the December quarter.

The rate dropped 0.1 of a percentage point from the September quarter, which itself had been the lowest unemployment rate recorded since the Household Labour Force Survey started in 1986.

Strikes me that as this trend continues the Nats will increasingly struggle to get traction with the argument that the drop in benefit numbers is illusory.

With more people in work, fewer people need the dole.

unemploy small

17 comments on “Unemployment at record low (again)”

  1. AncientGeek 1

    Oh they’ll always come back with that insane argument about everyone moving to the sickness benefit. Even when the number don’t support it.

    Trying to remember how long I’ve heard that as unemployment steadily reduced over the last 8 years.

    Some kind of urban myth for the credulous…

  2. Billy 2

    So all_your_base,

    Care to explain why the good economy is all Labour’s doing, but all social problems are as a result of benefit cuts made in 1990 (and not reversed by Labour in nine years of government).

  3. Steve Pierson 3

    Billy. 8 years. Clearly.

    I thought it was only Mr Key that couldn’t count.

    Governments’ actions have long-term ramifications and often have a long lag time. The social consequences of bad policy often cannot be completely undone. Some of today’s teenagers were damaged by growing up under National in jobless households, with slashed benefits and rising crime. All the jobs, higher wages, and better education in the world will not alter that fact. The damage National did in the 1990s will still have echoes decades from now.

  4. Tane 4

    Oh they’ll always come back with that insane argument about everyone moving to the sickness benefit. Even when the number don’t support it.

    Yeah I’ve got the numbers on that sitting on my computer, just haven’t had the time to graph them and put it together in a post. We’ll get there eventually though… suffice to say people who run that line are just making shit up.

  5. r0b 5

    Speaking of possible future posts, I thought this was an interesting development:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/4391516a10.html

  6. AncientGeek 6

    Billy: You should rephrase your question.

    Some quotes from the wikipedia articles on
    Major Changes to Social Welfare in New Zealand
    Ruthanasia

    In the early 1990s the fourth National government embarked on a free market programme aimed at reducing state spending and ‘dependence on the state’. Welfare benefits were drastically cut, and ‘user-pays’ charges were introduced for many formerly free public services. These policies were widely known as ‘Ruthanasia’ after Finance Minister Ruth Richardson, although the welfare portfolio was managed by Social Welfare Minister Jenny Shipley.

    The impact of these changes was particularly pronounced as the unemployment rate was high due to the 1987 stockmarket crash and the cost-cutting programmes of the previous fourth Labour government, which had reduced the staff of many state services such as New Zealand Rail. The cutbacks have been partially reversed by the fifth Labour government, but inflation means that in real terms benefits are still lower than before the cuts.

    Ruthanasia was controversial as the National Party had fought the 1990 election on a manifesto promising “The Decent Society” and implicitly repudiating the radicalism of the fourth Labour government. The Prime Minister, Jim Bolger, defended the move in his memoirs on the grounds that he had been badly misled in the runup to the 1990 election as to the actual state of the New Zealand economy.

    Ruthanasia came to an end after the 1993 election, when National’s majority was reduced from 18 (out of 99 seats) to 1. Bolger responded by replacing Richardson with Bill Birch.

    I think you should ask the question – why didn’t national or labour reverse the benefit cuts on 1991?

    The problem was that they’d have had to increase taxes to do it. National wasn’t prepared to do so bearing in mind that Ruthansia’s main effect had been to plunge NZ into a long-term recession. Instead they chose to allow inflation to keep driving the unchanged benefit levels even lower, while also driving down wage rates.

    Effectively they targeted the weakest, poorest members of society and ‘fixed’ a short-term budget problem by screwing them. This is from the party that campaigned that they were bringing “a decent society”. Now Key is hypocritical enough to try to campaign because the results of that screwup by the National party are screwups.

    Labour since 1999 has been steadily bringing the benefit levels up. But the priority has been on reducing the number of people that the nats put on benefits due to their other policies in the 90’s.

  7. AncientGeek 7

    rOb:

    I heard that on the radio. It does make more sense with their voters than getting in bed with the blues. But you really have to look at where their voters came from. Ummm I did a comment on that elsewhere. AncientGeek’s comment on maori roll voters.

    Exactly the same things apply with a brown/green and a brown/blue – there isn’t a lot of support in their electorate as expressed in voting patterns. I could probably go back to the 2002 election and look at how many voted green then – but I know it was similar to the 2005 level – insignificant.

    A working arms length alliance may be politically possible with the greens and not hurt the MP with their voters. I surely don’t think that a blue alliance of any kind will do anything apart from destroy the MP.

    Sounds like people floating ideas. If nothing else, it is useful for later bargaining.

  8. Pablo 8

    I think if the Greens can convince the Maori Party to abstain on confidence & supply, Labour would be over the moon. Obviously the dead rat for Helen there is the F&S legislation, but the recent development with Ngati Porou(?) might be signifying an attempt to rebuild those bridges without actually swallowing. I’d be amazed to see the Maori Party in formal coalition with either party, but to use their leverage in a way similar to how the Greens use theirs at the moment.

  9. dave 9

    All your base,
    care to explain the difference between a reduction in unemployment and a reduction in the unemployment rate?

    If more women enter the workforce because their partners income is too low due to our low wage economy, most dont come off the dole. If the number of extra workers from non economic activity, immigration or study are more than the number of people in full time work off the dole, less those entering the dole, the unemployment rate yas decreased but unemployment numbers havent necessarily..

    And the Government did not say that unemployment has decreased. Because it hasn`t.

  10. AncientGeek 10

    Dave: I just read your comment 3 times. It is still unclear to me what you’re asking and/or what your point is.

    Could you please rewrite it so it is a easier to figure out what you are asking or what your point is?

  11. AncientGeek 12

    dave: Looked at the link.

    I still think you’re confused. The figures reported in the stuff article that all_your_base was talking about are for the Household Labour Force Survey.

    What your link is doing is saying that there is a little or no difference in the number of people who are receiving the unemployment benefit. But that isn’t what the HLFS measures. It looks at participation in the workforce.

    Have you ever looked at the Phillips curve

  12. dave 13

    Ancient Greek. I agree. the HLFS will not tell you whether unemployment has increased or reduced – just the rate of unemployment. Which Is what I have said. Butthe point I was arguing against was this:

    With more people in work, fewer people need the dole. That statement is obviously false if more people are in work and the same amount of people need the dole. As is the case at present.

  13. dave 14

    .. Therefore unemployment is NOT at a record low.

  14. AncientGeek 15

    Dave: You have to remember that the economic reason to have an unemployment benefit at all is to ease economic transitions.

    As an economy adjusts and changes, you’d expect that people for one reason or another get laid off or are unable to enter the workforce because their skills (or lack of) are not in demand. If there was no unemployment benefit then people would get stuck in a poverty trap they got unemployed and their savings ran out. Apart from anything else, they wouldn’t be able to afford to move to where employment was.

    I haven’t looked at the latest HLFS, but I’d recommend a look at Part 3 of the Labour Market Stats 2005. It is a bit old now (but it was the last one I looked at closely), but the trend has continued. I’m sure someone can point to the equivalent in the unemployment benefits paid area.

    In particular table 3.04 on the duration of people being unemployed in the totals section. What that shows is the rapid reduction in long term unemployed and a movement to transitional unemployment.

    Incidentally have a close look around 1993 at national generating long-term unemployed, realising their mistake, and starting to try and correct it. That was a NZ phenomenon – most of the rest of the world was having very good employment around that time. Then have a look after 1999 when a real effort was being made to generate jobs rather than relying on the market to magically do it.

    This table is also interesting. Relative unemployment rates between countries

    I’m sure that people who are into this stuff could do a better find of finding the relevant data than I did in a 10 minute effort.

  15. AncientGeek 16

    Oh I forgot to mention why I pointed to the Philips curve earlier.

    It was there to annoy the ardent leftists. I don’t like having full employment, Last time I saw it was in the early 70’s where it was hard to keep employees for more than a few months. They’d barely become productive and then they’d leave – an impossible situation for employers.

    Also look up natural rate of unemployment, NAIRU, various variants of general equilibrium, etc…. There are endless arguments about it all, but my take on it says that full employment generally shows there is something structurally wrong with an economy. So does having long term unemployed.

    An economy is probably working well where people are on unemployment benefits for less than a few months on average. Shows that the labour market is adjusting to change.

  16. dave 17

    An economy is probably working well where people are on unemployment benefits for less than a few months on average
    Over the long run. Meaning as long as they are not transferred in and out of training and sickness benefits and then stuck on the invalids benefit for months like thousands of 16-17 year olds.

    when a person is on the unemployment benefit for three months, training benefit for 13 weeks, then unemployment benfit for 3 weeks, sickness a benefit for 3 week and back onto the unemployment fbenefit for 2 months ( it happens) the MSD logs it as on the unemployment benefit for two months, when in reality that person is a long termer.

    Also, about a third of those coming off the dole are back on it in six months.

    I do agree with your comments on NAIRU and full employment.

Links to post

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • New Zealanders’ human rights better protected in new Bill
    The law setting out New Zealanders’ basic civil and human rights is today one step towards being strengthened following the first reading of a Bill that requires Parliament to take action if a court says a statute undermines those rights. At present, a senior court can issue a ‘declaration of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    9 hours ago
  • Deep concern at Hong Kong national security legislation
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today reiterated the deep concern of the New Zealand Government following confirmation by China’s National People’s Congress of national security legislation relating to Hong Kong. “New Zealand shares the international community’s significant and long-standing stake in Hong Kong’s prosperity and stability,” Mr Peters said. “New Zealand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Government invests in New Zealand’s cultural recovery
    Thousands of artists and creatives at hundreds of cultural and heritage organisations have been given much-needed support to recover from the impact of COVID-19, Prime Minister and Minister for Arts, Culture and Heritage Jacinda Ardern announced today. “The cultural sector was amongst the worst hit by the global pandemic,” Jacinda ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • Better protection for New Zealand assets during COVID-19 crisis
    Key New Zealand assets will be better protected from being sold to overseas owners in a way contrary to the national interest, with the passage of the Overseas Investment (Urgent Measures) Bill. The Bill, which passed its third reading in Parliament today, also cuts unnecessary red tape to help attract ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • Cleaning up our rivers and lakes
    Setting higher health standards at swimming spots Requiring urban waterways to be cleaned up and new protections for urban streams Putting controls on higher-risk farm practices such as winter grazing and feed lots Setting stricter controls on nitrogen pollution and new bottom lines on other measures of waterway health Ensuring ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    17 hours ago
  • Record year for diversity on Govt boards
    The Government is on the verge of reaching its target of state sector boards and committees made up of at least 50 percent women, says Minister for Women Julie Anne Genter and Minister for Ethnic Communities Jenny Salesa. For the first time, the Government stocktake measures the number of Māori, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    21 hours ago
  • New appointments to the Commerce Commission
    The Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister and Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister, Kris Faafoi, has today announced the appointment of Tristan Gilbertson as the new Telecommunications Commissioner and member of the Commerce Commission. “Mr Gilbertson has considerable experience in the telecommunications industry and a strong reputation amongst his peers,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    24 hours ago
  • Historic pay equity settlement imminent for teacher aides
    The Ministry of Education and NZEI Te Riu Roa have agreed to settle the pay equity claim for teacher aides, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. This will see more than 22,000 teacher aides, mostly women, being valued and paid fairly for the work they do. “Teacher aides are frontline ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Govt delivers security for construction subcontractors
    Subcontractors will have greater certainty, more cashflow support and job security with new changes to retention payments under the Construction Contracts Act says Minister for Building and Construction, Jenny Salesa. A recent review of the retentions money regime showed that most of the building and construction sector is complying with ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New Zealand and Singapore reaffirm ties
    Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong have marked the first anniversary of the New Zealand-Singapore Enhanced Partnership with a virtual Leaders’ Meeting today. The Enhanced Partnership, signed on 17 May 2019, provides the framework for cooperation across the four main areas of trade, defence and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • JOINT STATEMENT BY THE PRIME MINISTERS OF NEW ZEALAND AND THE REPUBLIC OF SINGAPORE ON THE FIRST AN...
    On 17 May 2019, New Zealand and Singapore established an Enhanced Partnership to elevate our relations. The Enhanced Partnership – based on the four pillars of trade and economics, security and defence, science, technology and innovation, and people-to-people links – has seen the long-standing relationship between our countries strengthen over the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government investment supports the acquisition of new Interislander ferries
    State-Owned Enterprises Minister Winston Peters has welcomed KiwiRail’s announcement that it is seeking a preferred shipyard to build two new rail-enabled ferries for the Cook Strait crossing. “This Government is committed to restoring rail to its rightful place in New Zealand. Bigger, better ships, with new technology are yet another ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Better protection for seabirds
    Better protection for seabirds is being put in place with a new National Plan of Action to reduce fishing-related captures, Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash and Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage announced today.   The National Plan of Action for Seabirds 2020 outlines our commitment to reduce fishing-related captures and associated seabird ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Milestone in cash flow support to SMEs
    Almost $1 billion in interest-free loans for small businesses More than 55,000 businesses have applied; 95% approved Average loan approx. $17,300 90% of applications from firms with ten or fewer staff A wide cross-section of businesses have applied, the most common are the construction industry, accommodation providers, professional firms, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Government protects kids as smoking in cars ban becomes law
    Thousands of children will have healthier lungs after the Government’s ban on smoking in cars with kids becomes law, says Associate Minister of Health Jenny Salesa. This comes after the third reading of Smoke-free Environments (Prohibiting Smoking in Motor Vehicles Carrying Children) Amendment Bill earlier today. “This law makes it ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Parliament returns to a safe normal
    The special Epidemic Response Committee (ERC) has successfully concluded its role, Leader of the House Chris Hipkins said today. The committee was set up on 25 March by the agreement of Parliament to scrutinise the Government and its actions while keeping people safe during levels 4 and 3 of lockdown. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Foreign Minister makes four diplomatic appointments
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters today announced four diplomatic appointments: New Zealand’s Ambassador to Belgium, High Commissioners to Nauru and Niue, and Ambassador for Counter-Terrorism. “As the world seeks to manage and then recover from COVID-19, our diplomatic and trade networks are more important than ever,” Mr Peters said. “The ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Bill to counter violent extremism online
    New Zealanders will be better protected from online harm through a Bill introduced to Parliament today, says Internal Affairs Minister Tracey Martin. “The internet brings many benefits to society but can also be used as a weapon to spread harmful and illegal content and that is what this legislation targets,” ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Mycoplasma bovis eradication reaches two year milestone in good shape
    New Zealand’s world-first plan to eradicate the cattle disease Mycoplasma bovis is on track the latest technical data shows, says Agriculture and Biosecurity Minister Damien O’Connor. “Two years ago the Government, DairyNZ and Beef + Lamb New Zealand and industry partners made a bold decision to go hard and commit ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New payment to support Kiwis through COVID
    Further support for New Zealanders affected by 1-in-100 year global economic shock 12-week payment will support people searching for new work or retraining Work programme on employment insurance to support workers and businesses The Government today announced a new temporary payment to support New Zealanders who lose their jobs due ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PGF reset helps regional economies
    The Provincial Growth Fund will play a vital role in New Zealand’s post-COVID-19 recovery by creating jobs in shorter timeframes through at least $600 million being refocused on projects with more immediate economic benefits, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. The funding is comprised of repurposed Provincial Growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents
    Government exempts some home improvements from costly consents Homeowners, builders and DIYers will soon have an easier time making basic home improvements as the Government scraps the need for consents for low-risk building work such as sleep-outs, sheds and carports – allowing the construction sector to fire back up quicker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Concern at introduction of national security legislation for Hong Kong
    Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters says the New Zealand Government has reacted with concern at the introduction of legislation in China’s National People’s Congress relating to national security in Hong Kong.  “We have a strong interest in seeing confidence maintained in the ‘one country, two systems’ principle under which Hong ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Samoa Language Week theme is perfect for the post-COVID-19 journey
    The Minister for Pacific Peoples Aupito William Sio, says the theme for the 2020 Samoa Language Week is a perfect fit for helping our Pacific communities cope with the unfolding COVID-19 crisis, and to prepare now for the journey ahead as New Zealand focuses on recovery plans and rebuilding New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Adult kakī/black stilt numbers soar
    A nearly 40-year programme to protect one of New Zealand’s most critically endangered birds is paying off, with a record number of adult kakī/black stilt recently recorded living in the wild, the Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage announced today. “Thanks to the team effort involved in the Department of Conservation’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 days ago
  • Waikato-Tainui settlement story launched on 25th anniversary of Treaty signing
    The story of the Waikato-Tainui Treaty process and its enduring impact on the community is being told with a five-part web story launched today on the 25th anniversary of settlement, announced Associate Arts, Culture and Heritage Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “I am grateful to Waikato-Tainui for allowing us to help capture ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Taita College to benefit from $32 million school redevelopment
    Taita College in the Hutt Valley will be redeveloped to upgrade its ageing classrooms and leaky roofs, Education Minister Chris Hipkins announced today. “The work is long overdue and will make a lasting difference to the school for generations to come,” Chris Hipkins said. “Too many of our schools are ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • Redeployment for workers in hard-hit regions
    The Government is allocating $36.72 million to projects in regions hard hit economically by COVID-19 to keep people working, Economic Development Minister Phil Twyford and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. Projects in Hawke’s Bay, Northland, Rotorua and Queenstown will be funded from the Government’s $100 million worker ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    7 days ago
  • $35m to build financial resilience for New Zealanders
    A $35m boost to financial capability service providers funded by MSD will help New Zealanders manage their money better both day to day and through periods of financial difficulty, announced Social Development Minister Carmel Sepuloni. “It’s always been our position to increase support to key groups experiencing or at risk ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New District Court Judge appointed
    Dunedin barrister Melinda Broek has been appointed as a District Court Judge with Family Court jurisdiction to be based in Rotorua, Attorney-General David Parker announced today. Ms Broek has iwi affiliations to Ngai Tai. She commenced her employment in 1996 with Scholefield Cockroft Lloyd in Invercargill specialising in family and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $206 million investment in upgrades at Ohakea Air Force Base
    The Coalition Government has approved a business case for $206 million in upgrades to critical infrastructure at Royal New Zealand Air Force Base Ohakea, with the first phase starting later this year, Defence Minister Ron Mark announced today. The investment will be made in three phases over five years, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Review of CAA organisational culture released
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford today released the Ministry of Transport’s review of the organisational culture at the Civil Aviation Authority. Phil Twyford says all employees are entitled to a safe work environment. “I commissioned this independent review due to the concerns I had about the culture within the CAA, and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Board appointed at Stats NZ
    Ensuring that Stats NZ’s direction and strategy best supports government policy decisions will be a key focus for a new Governance Advisory Board announced today by the Minister for Statistics, James Shaw. The new Governance Advisory Board will provide strategic advice to Stats NZ to ensure it is meeting New ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • New Principal Environment Judge
    Environment Judge David Kirkpatrick of Auckland has been appointed as the Principal Environment Judge, Attorney-General David Parker announced today.  Judge Kirkpatrick was appointed an Environment Judge in February 2014. From December 2013 to July 2016 he was Chair of the Auckland Unitary Plan Independent Hearings Panel. Prior to appointment he ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Digital connectivity boost for urban marae
    A programme to connect marae around the country to the internet has received $1.4 million to expand to include urban marae in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch, Broadcasting, Communications and Digital Media Minister Kris Faafoi and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones announced today. The funding for the Marae Connectivity Programme ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Govt increases assistance to drought-stricken Hawke’s Bay farmers
    The Government will provide $500,000 to the Hawke’s Bay Mayoral Drought Relief Fund to help farmers facing one of the worst droughts in living memory, says Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. “Yesterday afternoon I received a letter from Hawke's Bay's five local Government leaders asking me to contribute to the Fund. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Investment in New Zealand’s history
    Budget 2020 provides a major investment in New Zealand’s documentary heritage sector, with a commitment to leasing a new Archives Wellington facility and an increase in funding for Archives and National Library work. “Last year I released plans for a new Archives Wellington building – a purpose-built facility physically connected ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Driving prompt payments to small businesses
    Government Ministers are asking significant private enterprises to adopt prompt payment practices in line with the state sector, as a way to improve cashflow for small businesses. The Ministers of Finance, Small Business, Commerce and Consumer Affairs have written to more than 40 significant enterprises and banking industry representatives to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • Rotorua tourist icon to be safeguarded
    Maori Arts and Crafts will continue to underpin the heart of the tourism sector says Minister for Maori Development Nanaia Mahuta.  “That’s why we are making a core investment of $7.6 million to Te Puia New Zealand Māori Arts and Crafts Institute, over two years, as part of the Government’s ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    1 week ago
  • $14.7m for jobs training and education
    The Government is funding more pathways to jobs through training and education programmes in regional New Zealand to support the provinces’ recovery from the economic impacts of COVID-19, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones and Employment Minister Willie Jackson have announced. “New Zealand’s economic recovery will be largely driven by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 weeks ago